Richard Bamler

Prof. Dr.-Ing. habil.

Former Professor for Remote Sensing Technology,
TUM School of Engineering and Design
Former Director of the Remote Sensing Technology Institute of the German Aerospace Center (DLR)


born February 08, 1955



In his PhD project Richard Bamler worked on coherent-optical image processing. His habilitation thesis dealt with multidimensional linear systems theory.

At DLR, he conducted research on the topic of information retrieval from remote sensing data for Earth observation. His personal research focus was Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR), for which he developed imaging algorithms, SAR interferometry methods, and operational processing systems. Highlights of his career were and are the German radar Earth observation missions SIR-C/X-SAR, SRTM (both together with NASA/JPL and ASI) as well as TerraSAR-X and TanDEM-X. Methodological research focused on modern signal processing techniques, inverse methods, estimation theory, and machine learning.

He and his team – and, from 1996, the DLR institutes he headed – also conducted research on optical remote sensing (high-resolution and hyperspectral), atmospheric remote sensing, and artificial intelligence and machine learning for Earth observation. Processing systems and algorithms for almost all German and many European Earth observation satellite missions have been developed and operated at his institute during this time.

Since 2003, Richard Bamler also represented these topics in research and teaching at TUM.


Short biography

1975 – 1980 Study of Electrical Engineering/Communications Engineering, TUM
1986 Promotion in Communications Engineering, TUM
1988 Habilitation for Systems Theory and Signal Processing, TUM
1989 – 1996 German Aerospace Center (DLR), Oberpfaffenhofen
1994 Visiting Scientist NASA/JPL, Pasadena, USA
1996 Guest Professor, University of Innsbruck, Austria
1996 – 1999 Acting Director of German Remote Sensing Data Center (DFD), DLR 
2000 – 2022 Director of Remote Sensing Technology Institute, DLR
2003 – 2022 Full Professor for Remote Sensing Technology, TUM


Memberships and activities

Member Helmholtz Incubator Information and Data Science (2016 – 2022)

Spokesman of Helmholtz Program Topic Earth Observation (2004 – 2022)

Member of Program Board Earth Observation of DLR Space Agency (2004 – 2021)

Spokesman of IT Steering Committee of DLR (2006 – 2021)

Representative of Institute Directors in the DLR Senate (2014 – 2018)

Member of Board of the Information Engineering Doctorate at the University of Naples Parthenope (2013 2018)

Member of the Think Tank of the Helmholtz president (2013 – 2017)

Founding member of Munich Aerospace e.V. executive board (2011 – 2013)

Member of „Expertenkreis zur EU-Förderung in den Bereichen Meereswissenschaften, Erdbeobachtung und Naturgefahren (BMBF)“ (2010 – 2013)

Member of many science teams, advisory boards etc. for several satellite missions


Research projects

Besides projects funded by ESA, Helmholtz, DFG and ministries, e.g. the International AI Future Laboratory "AI4EO", Richard Bamler's major projects were always related to satellite missions. He and his collaborators were involved in a large number of missions and mission concepts in partly leading roles. These included the aforementioned German radar missions SIR-C/X-SAR, SRTM, TerraSAR-X and TanDEM-X, the Spanish mission PAZ, the US Venus mission VERITAS, the hyperspectral missions DESIS and EnMAP, the atmospheric missions of the MetOp series, as well as the European Copernicus satellites Sentinel-1, Sentinel-2, Sentinel-4, Sentinel-5p.



  • TUM Emeritus of Excellence (2022)
  • IEEE GRSS Transaction Prize Paper Award (2016)
  • IEEE GRSS 2012 Letters Prize Paper Award (2012)
  • 2nd Price IEEE Data Fusion Contest (2012)
  • IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Education Award (2011)
  • IEEE GRSS Symposium Prize Paper Award (2009)
  • Best Paper Award 4th Joint IEEE Intern. Workshop on Object Tracking and Classification in and Beyond the Visible Spectrum, OTCBVS'07 (2007)
  • Best Paper Award ISPRS Comm. VII Midterm Symposium (2006)
  • IEEE Fellow (2005)
  • Best Paper Award CVPR'05, Workshop on Object Tracking and Classification Beyond the Visible Spectrum, OTCBVS'05 (2005)
  • IEEE GRSS Symposium Prize Paper Award (2004)
  • U.V. Helava Best Paper Award of ISPRS Journal of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (2002)

You can download "Explanations of honors and awards" here [PDF 215 KB]