The DLR Institute of Optical Sensor Systems fosusses on research and development of active and passive optical sensor systems operating in the UV, visible, infrared and THz spectral range. The instruments are applied in space research and space exploration, on board of flying platforms and for robotic systems. The development of sensor-oriented algorithms for information processing lays the foundation for autonomous optical sensor systems. The institute participates in numerous national and international space missions in a leading role. The scientific analysis of the data obtained with the optical systems is an important part of its activities. Applications are in Earth observation, robotics, planetary research, transport and security.