The first TerraSAR-X picture, for which DLR supplied the processing system, shows a region in the south Russian Steppes about 500 kilometres northeast of the Black Sea and about 50 kilometres west of Volgograd.
In the upper half of the image, the Tsimlyanskoye reservoir can be seen. Here the River Don is dammed with the water being used for power generation. In the upper right corner of the view, you can see a channel with a weir. In the immediate neighbourhood the meandering oxbow river bends can be seen as dark surfaces. Calm water surfaces are typically very dark in radar photographs, since the radar radiation hitting them is reflected away.
In the centre-left of the image, a railway bridge over the River Don can be seen with the railway line disappearing towards the northeast.
In the lower half, large, agricultural areas dominate. The fields form regular patterns, on which can be spotted meandering tributaries. The different brightnesses result from the differing vegetation and the particular stages of their annual growth cycles.
During this survey, a thick cloud cover prevailed. Nevertheless, radar satellites such as TerraSAR-X offer imaging capability even in case of cloudy skies and at night. However, exceptional strong precipitation events like heavy thunderstorms may influence even radar imaging. Such an event can be seen at the upper left part of the radar image as a bright "veil".
In order to be able to use satellite data in research projects as a meaningful source of information, it is necessary to transform them onto standard map projections. As a result of this transformation, the black edge and the diagonal picture adjustments arise.
Credit: DLR, Astrium
Taken : 19 June 2007, 15:03:24 UTC
Resolution: approx. 15 metres
Mode: Stripmap Mode
Angle: 51.7 degrees; Orbit 69; ascending