The Interferometric SAR Missions TanDEM-X and Tandem-L

Krieger G, Hajnsek I, Papathanassiou K, Marwan Y, Zink M, Moreira A (2009)

Publication Type: Conference contribution

Publication year: 2009

Conference Proceedings Title: ESA Conference on Image Information Mining



This presentation provides an overview of single-pass interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) missions employing two or more satellites flying in close formation. The simultaneous reception of the scattered radar echoes from different viewing directions by multiple spatially distributed antennas enables the acquisition of unique Earth observation products for a wide range of remote sensing applications. After a short introduction to the basic principles and applications of SAR interferometry, a detailed description of the two twin satellite missions TanDEM-X and Tandem-L will be provided. Primary objective of TanDEM-X (TerraSAR-X add-on for Digital Elevation Measurement) is the generation of a global Digital Elevation Model (DEM) with unprecedented accuracy as the basis for a wide range of scientific research, as well as for commercial DEM production. This goal is achieved by enhancing the TerraSAR-X mission with a second TerraSAR-X like satellite that will be launched in winter 2009/2010. Both satellites act then as a large single-pass SAR interferometer with the opportunity for flexible baseline selection. Building upon the experience gathered with the TanDEM-X mission design, the fully polarimetric L-band twin satellite formation Tandem-L is proposed as a future milestone in Earth observation. Important objectives of this highly innovative interferometric SAR mission are the global acquisition of 3-D forest structure and biomass inventories, large scale measurements of millimetric displacements due to tectonic shifts, and systematic observations of glacier movements. The sophisticated mission concept and the high data acquisition capacity of Tandem-L will moreover provide a unique data source to systematically observe, analyze and quantify the dynamics of a wide range of additional processes in the bio-, litho-, hydro- and cryosphere. By this, Tandem-L will be an essential step to advance our understanding of the Earth system and its intricate dynamics. Enabling technologies and techniques are described in detail and an outlook on future interferometric and tomographic concepts and developments, including multi-static SAR systems with multiple receivers, is provided.

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Krieger, G., Hajnsek, I., Papathanassiou, K., Marwan, Y., Zink, M., & Moreira, A. (2009). The Interferometric SAR Missions TanDEM-X and Tandem-L. In ESA Conference on Image Information Mining.


Krieger, Gerhard, et al. "The Interferometric SAR Missions TanDEM-X and Tandem-L." Proceedings of the ESA Conference on Image Information Mining 2009.

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