TanDEM-X: A Radar Interferometer with Two Formation Flying Satellites

Krieger G, Zink M, Bachmann M, Braeutigam B, Schulze D, Martone M, Rizzoli P, Steinbrecher U, Antony JW, De Zan F, Hajnsek I, Papathanassiou K, Kugler F, Cassola MR, Younis M, Baumgartner S, Lopez-Dekker P, Prats P, Moreira A (2013)

Publication Type: Journal article

Publication year: 2013


Publisher: Elsevier

Edited Volumes: Acta Astronautica

Book Volume: 89

Pages Range: 83-98

URI: https://elib.dlr.de/82369/

DOI: 10.1016/j.actaastro.2013.03.008


TanDEM-X (TerraSAR-X add-on for Digital Elevation Measurements) is an innovative formation-flying radar mission that opens a new era in spaceborne radar remote sensing. The primary objective is the acquisition of a global digital elevation model (DEM) with unprecedented accuracy (12 m horizontal resolution and 2 m relative height accuracy). This goal is achieved by extending the TerraSAR-X synthetic aperture radar (SAR) mission by a second, TerraSAR-X like satellite (TDX) flying in close formation with TerraSAR-X (TSX). Both satellites form together a large single-pass SAR interferometer with the opportunity for flexible baseline selection. This enables the acquisition of highly accurate cross-track interferograms without the inherent accuracy limitations imposed by repeat-pass interferometry due to temporal decorrelation and atmospheric disturbances. Besides the primary goal of the mission, several secondary mission objectives based on along-track interferometry as well as new bistatic and multistatic SAR techniques have been defined, representing an important and innovative asset of the TanDEM-X mission. TanDEM-X is implemented in the framework of a public-private partnership between the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and EADS Astrium GmbH. The TanDEM-X satellite was successfully launched in June 2010 and the mission started its operational data acquisition in December 2010. This paper provides an overview of the TanDEM-X mission and summarizes its actual status and performance. Furthermore, results from several scientific radar experiments are presented that show the great potential of future formation-flying interferometric SAR missions to serve novel remote sensing applications. © 2013 IAA Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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Krieger, G., Zink, M., Bachmann, M., Braeutigam, B., Schulze, D., Martone, M.,... Moreira, A. (2013). TanDEM-X: A Radar Interferometer with Two Formation Flying Satellites. Acta Astronautica, 89, 83-98. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.actaastro.2013.03.008


Krieger, Gerhard, et al. "TanDEM-X: A Radar Interferometer with Two Formation Flying Satellites." Acta Astronautica 89 (2013): 83-98.

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