The International Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences
Publications Copernicus
Articles | Volume XL-1/W1
02 May 2013
 | 02 May 2013


U. Steinbrecher, M. Zink, A. Moreira, M. Bachmann, J. Böer, D. Schulze, and G. Krieger

Keywords: TanDEM-X, TerraSAR-X, SAR, Radar, Interferometer, DEM, Digital Elevation Model

Abstract. TanDEM-X (TerraSAR-X add-on for Digital Elevation Measurement) opens a new era in spaceborne radar remote sensing [1]–[3], [9], [12]. Realized in the framework of a public-private partnership between the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and EADS Astrium GmbH, a single-pass SAR interferometer with adjustable baselines in across- and in along-track directions was formed by adding a second (TDX), almost identical spacecraft to TerraSAR-X (TSX) and flying the two satellites in a closely controlled formation on average orbit height of 514 km. This allows the acquisition of highly accurate cross-track and along-track interferograms without the inherent accuracy limitations imposed by repeat-pass interferometry due to temporal decorrelation and atmospheric disturbances. With typical across-track baselines of 150 to 500 m a global Digital Elevation Model (DEM) with 2 m relative height accuracy at a 12 m posting is being generated.