The near infrared light is important for the exploration of proto-planetary nebulae as well as for the planetary nebulae in early phases (Persi et. al. 1986, in Planetary and Proto-Planetary Nebulae: From IRAS to ISO, ed A. P. Martinez). Numerous work on the fluxes of the well known planetary nebulae was already done in the late 80's, but a sky survey will give a large sample of data to provide more detailed statistics.
The present work presents an overview of the data on planetary nebulae expected from the European project of a deep near infrared survey of the southern sky (denis) (IAP and DESPA Paris, Heidelberg, Leiden, IAC Tenerife, Grenoble, Lyon, Frascati, Innsbruck, Vienna) in the I, J and K band with a limiting magnitude of 14.5 to 15 for point sources and 17 mag arcsec−1 for the surface brightness. The angular resolution for identification of non–point source objects will be about 5″.