About us

Earth Observation Services Jena GmbH (EOS Jena) is a new and innovative player in the dynamic geo cluster Jena! We are a university spin-off and use the latest technologies to create and analyze spatial data of various kinds.


We are a spin-off from the Chair of remote Sensing at the Institute of Geography at the Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena (FSU) and is based in Germany. After being supported by the federal German EXIST program, we started our business in 2012. EOS Jena is a pioneer in the operational use of active microwave remote sensing data for mapping biomass and other forest related parameters, important for a sustainable forest resource management.


EOS Jena maintains a close contact with the chair of remote sensing at the Institute of Geography at the FSU Jena. Thus, EOS Jena benefits from more than a decade of experiences in international research projects and processing large amounts of microwave remote sensing data. Furthermore this gives the possibility to incorporate newest developments in data processing and retrieval algorithms into our service portfolio.


How the team came together

The idea for the company started with the discovery of a very effective way to estimate the growing stock volume (biomass) of boreal forests. The method found uses L-band ALOS PALSAR images together with a newly developed algorithm to achieve a high overall accuracy. Furthermore the new approach can achieve high accuracy without the input of previously acquired local reference data of the area of interest. If there are reference datasets available adding them even further increases the overall accuracy of the approach.


Dr. Carsten Pathe is one of the first founding members and the one that started writing a comprehensive business plan. Seeing the need for additional enthusiastic members to expand the founding team Sebastian Wilhelm was asked to join the endeavor. His task was to secure and further develop the algorithm and find other methods for biomass estimation in boreal forests. As Dr. Pathe and Mr. Wilhelm discovered that they had more than one service to offer, they decided to get a business graduate by the name of Florian Paul Rink to assist in writing the business plan. This business plan was then used to participate in a regional business plan competition called “Thüringer Gründungsideenwettbewerb Region Ostthüringen Frühjahr 2011”. The business plan turned out to be a success and it won the competition by getting first price.


After that victory Dr. Pathe, Mr. Wilhelm and Mr. Rink were quite confident that an application for a financial grant could be successful, which it turned out to be. The German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology approved their application and they all received a grant for one year. This grant was given to ensure that the entrepreneurs had enough time to make the necessary preparations and get everything ready prior to the actual launch of the company. The Earth Observation Services GmbH (German limited liability company (LLC) equivalent) was founded on the 25th of April 2012.


As the team keeps expanding further members will be added to this story.


Our reference or gallery section consists of two parts. On the one hand there are reference projects, which we have worked on for our customer and on the other hand a picture gallery with photos of the earth’s surface, which offer particularly attractive and beautiful sights.


The showcases that will follow shortly will have been added to the site to further explain and show how we go about finding solutions to the challenges of our customers. In almost each case a picture and all associated information is added. This usually includes the date, satellite, spectral bandwidth, copyright owner, image scale and location (given in latitude/longitude and name) as well as some basic additional information. Below that there will be a description of the project and possibly a Link to a downloadable PDF-file of that showcase.

The image on the right is an example of a biomass (growing stock volume) map of an area in Russia. It provides valuable information such as clear cut areas, fire- and windthrow damages and how much wood remains so forest management agencies and (government) institutions can monitor their forests more accurately.

Please find all downloadable content and links on our download site. For answers to your questions please just contact us directly.

Image gallery

Our projects involve a lot of image data and processing steps in which we often witness very beautiful patterns at the Earth’s surface. These pictures often portray dunes, river deltas, mountains and many other interesting geological formations. Because we enjoy these pictures so much we would like to share a select few of them with you. We hope you enjoy them as much as us. If you wish to obtain a (large) printable version of one of our images, please do not hesitate to contact us.


This section called FAQ (frequently asked questions) has been drafted to help explain the most frequently asked questions about our company, the technology we use and what we offer in a clear and structured way. As questions keep reaching us, we strive to answer most of them and add the most frequently asked ones below.

For any questions that have not been listed, please have a look at our FAQ or contact us per e-mail or just give us a call.

1. What exactly does EOS offer?

The Earth Observation Services GmbH offers solutions with regard to environmental issues that need or greatly benefit from data, which in turn is produced by earth observing optical (including infrared), and radar satellite data. This information is extracted from data which in turn is produced by earth observing optical (including infrared) and radar satellites and can be used for a host of different applications.

Due to the versatile possibilities that satellite images offer in terms of extracting the information contained within these satellite measurements, EOS has yet to find a one-size-fits-all solution. Therefore, EOS has specialized in offering customized solutions for different kinds of challenges you might have. We are at our best, when your challenge involves forest areas, agricultural land, urban areas and/or large areas of water.

Please find examples of the Information that can be extracted from the satellite measurement data in our Showcase menu. For a complete overview of the services we can provide you with, please visit our Services page.


2. What are satellites?

The word satellite is of Latin origin and is thought to mean bodyguard. In the context of space exploration and technology a (n) (artificial) satellite is an object which has been deployed in space by human doing.

Using this definition, pieces of rockets and all other forms of debris from the countless space missions can therefore also be called satellites. The satellites we refer to on this website are operational measurement or communication platforms that circle with or around the Earth in a certain orbit.

3. What kind of satellites are there?

There are different kinds of satellites, which can be categorized into approximately five different groups, the first of which are communication satellites (e.g. communication media like TV, radio and telephone) followed by navigational satellites (e.g. GPS), weather satellites (e.g. to make weather forecasts), military satellites (e.g. spy missions, communications and other objectives unknown to the public) and scientific satellites (e.g. space exploration and earth observation) which contribute to the knowledge expansion and everyday life of ourspecies.

In total there are about 1.200 active satellite circling the Earth. Besides them, there are thousands of particles of different sizes called space debris, which are the remains of rockets and abandoned satellites (if they have not been de-orbited). These objects may be a threat for active satellites and have to be constantly tracked.



4. What does GIS stand for and what does it encompass?

GIS stands for Geographic Information System. These computer data systems are capable of and designed for capturing, storing, analyzing, and displaying geographically referenced information. Geographically referenced information describes information that has been complemented with the geographic locations of that information.

A GIS consists of several components such as hardware, software, data and people. The hardware involved consists of a computer or server that is able to load large quantities of data (raw data) and is able to facilitate graphic manipulation of this data. One of the most important components of a GIS is the software, which provides the opportunity to interpret the data and turn it into new information using different kinds of algorithms, software tools and additional information such as e.g. roadmaps, elevation models or weather prediction models to get new insights with regard to our environment. Another key element in a GI-System is the remote sensing data. Last but not least, it’s the people that work with GI-Systems that have to possess the necessary knowledge to interpret and visualize these new insights, so as to make sure they are relevant and understood by those who depend on this new information for their decision making process.

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