TerraSAR-X is able to produce image data with a resolution of down to one metre. By 2013, TerraSAR-X will have mapped the complete surface of the Earth alongside its twin satellite TanDEM-X. Here you will find some of the most spectacular images obtained with this satellite.
TerraSAR-X records new high-quality X-band radar images of the entire planet - independently of weather conditions, cloud cover or daylight.
Even before TanDEM-X joins TerraSAR-X, there will be plenty of tense and exciting moments. This mission blog is coming to you from the launch site in Baikonur, and the Mission Control Center in Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany.
The instruments on Germany's hyperspectral Earth observation satellite, EnMAP, will observe the sunlight reflected back from Earth across a range of wavelengths from the visible to the near-infrared. This will make it possible to accurately study the condition of Earth's surface, and the changes affecting it.
On Friday 22 November at 13:02 CET (12:02 GMT) the three European SWARM satellites were lifted into orbit from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in northern Russia by a Rockot launch vehicle. The mission will take high accuracy measurements of Earth's magnetic field, expanding our knowledge of the processes at work in Earth's interior as well as in near-Earth space.
Officially, the German radar satellite TerraSAR-X should have been out of service for over a year and a half – that's how long it has exceeded its intended lifespan. But engineers at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) have switched the satellite, which was launched to space on 15 June 2007, to yet another mode: TerraSAR-X can now record image strips over 200 kilometres wide. "The satellite does so by sweeping this large area in multiple stages, very quickly pivoting the radar beam numerous times across the direction of flight," explains DLR mission manager Stefan Buckreuss. For example, the image of the German Bight shows the Frisian Islands from Borkum to Wangerooge and cities such as Wilhelmshaven and Bremen. This new ‘wide-angle’ mode is of particular interest to oceanographers, who will be able to use it to investigate the tidal range, changes to mudflats, shipping movements, wave patterns, ice floes and wind levels.