Structure of the project

TerraSAR-X is a space project that is being implemented as a 'Public-Private Partnership' (PPP), with significant financial contribution from industry – the first of its kind in Germany. The objective is cooperation between equal partners, in which each provides a balanced contribution in order to satisfy its own requirements.

In the PPP, the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) is responsible for the operation of the 'Payload Ground Segment'; covering the infrastructure for satellite control, mission planning, and reception, processing, archiving and distribution of data. DLR is also in charge of the calibration of the instrument, five years of operations and the coordination of scientific utilisation of TerraSAR-X-data. For detailed information please consult the TSX-brochure in the download section.

DLR's tasks and responsibilities

  • The DLR Project-Directorate in Bonn-Oberkassel is the overall coordinator of the project.
  • The DLR German Space Operation Center (GSOC) in Oberpfaffenhofen has developed and operates the 'Mission Operations Segment (MOS)', controlling the satellite through its ground station facility in Weilheim.
  • The DLR Microwaves and Radar Institute (DLR-Institut für Hochfrequenz- und Radartechnik) in Oberpfaffenhofen provides the System Engineering and Calibration Segment (SEC) for the operation and the calibration of the radar instrument.
  • The German Remote Sensing Date Center (Deutsches Fernerkundungsdatenzentrum; DFD) and the DLR Remote Sensing Technology Institute (DLR-Institut für Methodik der Fernerkundung) jointly developed the TerraSAR-X Payload Ground Segment (PGS). The PGS integrates the DFD receiving station in Neustrelitz with the archiving, processing and distribution facilities in Oberpfaffenhofen.

Distribution of responsibilities within the Public-Private Partnership (PPP).
Credit: DLR.

The satellite was developed and built by EADS-Astrium on behalf of DLR. EADS-Astrium holds the exclusive rights for commercial exploitation. Data distribution and provision of value-added products is the responsibility of Infoterra GmbH. Upon the achievement of business development as predicted today, EADS-Astrium will also finance a follow-up system at the end of the operational life of the first satellite and so secure the sustainability of the business. DLR, as the representative of the German state, remains the owner of the TerraSAR-X data and coordinates its scientific utilisation.

Last modified: 01/07/2011 15:01:05

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Elke Heinemann
Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR) - German Aerospace Center

Tel.: +49 2203 601-2867

Fax: +49 2203 601-3249
Dr Stefan Buckreuß
German Aerospace Center (DLR), DLR Microwaves and Radar Institute

Tel.: +49 8153 28-2344

Fax: +49 8153 28-1449


  • DLR Space Administration
  • DLR Space Operations and Astronaut Training
  • DLR Microwaves and Radar Institute
  • DLR Remote Sensing Technology Institute
  • TerraSAR-X: Science Team Portal
  • Infoterra - TerraSAR-X
  • Airbus Defence and Space