The German radar satellite will provide Earth observation data in unparalleled quality
TerraSAR-X over Europe
The German radar satellite TerraSAR-X is to be launched on 15 June at 04:14 (CEST) from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The launch of the satellite has been postponed a number of times due to technical problems with the Russian Dnjepr launch vehicle. However, teams of engineers from Europe’s leading space company Astrium and the German Aerospace Center (DLR) are now in Kazakhstan, preparing the 1.3-metric-ton satellite for lift-off.
TerraSAR-X is the first German satellite to be realised within the scope of a public-private partnership (PPP) between DLR and Astrium: Europe’s leading satellite specialist, Astrium, is sharing the costs of the development, construction and deployment of the satellite. The scientific use of the TerraSAR-X data is the responsibility of DLR, as is the mission planning and operation of the satellite, whilst Infoterra GmbH, a subsidiary of Astrium specifically established for this purpose, will be responsible for the commercial exploitation of the satellite data.
With its active antenna, the satellite will record new high-quality X-band radar images of the entire planet whilst circling Earth in a polar orbit at an altitude of 514 kilometres. TerraSAR-X will carry out its task for five years, independently of weather conditions, cloud cover or daylight, and will be able to provide radar images with a resolution as high as one metre.