Lighthouse project

"BIGFE - Recording water quality and water area extent of inland waters by remote sensing".

National Copernicus integration measure of the

Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport (BMDV)

Duration: 01.07.2021 - 31.12.2024


Although the applicability of satellite-based remote sensing in water monitoring is scientifically well proven for individual cases, a broad systematic investigation on the suitability of the methodology for regulatory water quality monitoring and water area extent is missing. In the lighthouse project "Erfassung der Wasserqualität und Wasserflächenausdedehnung von Binnengewässern durch Fernerkundung (BIGFE)", funded by the Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport (BMDV) as part of the Copernicus initiative, satellite products freely available from the European COPERNICUS satellite programme are therefore to be processed, harmonised and validated for a selection of approx. 100 lakes and reservoirs as well as individual watercourse areas in the lower reaches of large rivers using various existing methods and scientifically evaluated with regard to their quality. The further development of the WaterMaskAnalyzer (WMA) is used to measure flood areas and to record the water level fluctuations of standing waters.

The principles developed for the informative value, uncertainty and reliability of the remote sensing products provide the basis for an appropriate implementation of remote sensing in official monitoring. In addition to this characterisation of the applicability, targeted training workshops and adapted practical tools are also necessary for the implementation. For this purpose, a close cooperation with SMEs from the remote sensing sector is integrated in the project.

BIGFE is a research network of four project partners and 12 associated state authorities in Germany, coordinated by the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research GmbH - UFZ and accompanied by a project advisory board.
Turbidity in Lake Constance on 12.02.2016
Data processed with eolytics (processing platform of the company eomap) from the satellite "Sentinel 2" from 12.2.2016 over Lake Constance - here evaluated with regard to turbidity. (© Susanne Schmidt)

Associated Partners

Meeting of the associated partners with EOMAP & Brockmann Consult (SME)
Screenshot eines der monatlichen virtuellen Meetings der Verbundpartner mit EOMAP & Brockmann Consult (KMU).

Helmholtz-Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ)
Department Lake Research
Brückstr. 3a
39104 Magdeburg
UFZ Department Lake Research

Project Management:
Dr. Karsten Rinke (Tel. +49 391 810-9499)

Project Coordination:
Prof. Dr. Kurt Friese (Tel. +49 391 810-9200)

Project Assistance:
Dr. Désirée Dietrich (TEl.: +49 391 810-9111)

Dr. Susanne I. Schmidt (TEl.: +49 391 810-9127)

Institut für Hygiene und Umwelt
Marckmannstrasse 129 a
20539 Hamburg
Institut für Hygiene und Umwelt

Werner Blohm (Tel. +49 40 42845-3870)

Pia Laue (Tel. +49 40 42845-3777)

Institut für Seenforschung (ISF) der Landesanstalt für Umwelt Baden-Württemberg
Argenweg 50/1
D-88085 Langenargen
LUBW Institut für Seenforschung

Dr. Thomas Wolf (Tel. + 49 7543 304-215)

Sächsisches Landesamt für Umwelt, Landwirtschaft und Geologie (LfULG)
Referat 45 | Landeshochwasserzentrum, Gewässerkunde
Postanschrift: Postfach 540137
01311 Dresden

Achim Six (Tel. +49 351 8928 4522)