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"Luft- und Raumfahrt": Earth Observaton in 3-D - Tandem-L on track to become climate watcher
16 February 2017
IN GERMAN: Am 21. Juni 2010 startete der deutsche Erdbeobachtungssatellit TanDEM-X an Bord einer russisch-ukrainischen Dnjepr-Trägerrakete zu seiner Mission in den niedrigen Erdorbit ... Im September 2016 konnte die erste topografische Karte der Erde fertiggestellt werden. Sie ist 30-mal genauer als alle bisherigen globalen Datensätze. ... Währenddessen stecken die Wissenschaftler aber schon im nächsten wichtigen Projekt. Bereits seit fünf Jahren arbeiten sie an der
, die ebenfalls aus zwei Satelliten im Formationsflug bestehen soll.
Deutschlandfunk: Satellites for Forests
13 February 2017
Press Release, Deutschlandfunk (IN GERMAN): "Seit 2010 fliegen die Satelliten TerraSAR-X und TanDEM-X nebeneinander um die Erde. Ihre Bilder zeigen, wie sich Städte entwickeln oder wo Wälder verschwinden. Aber ihre Radarstrahlen dringen kaum durch die Baumkronen der Wälder. Ihre Nachfolger sollen es besser machen und auch Informationen über die Struktur von Wäldern liefern." By Jochen Steiner
Christmas News on TanDEM-X!
23 December 2016
This year, 2016, the processing and mosaicking of the TanDEM-X DEM was completed and it is now available for the science community and commercial users worldwide! The picture above shows a section of the TanDEM-X DEM from Egypt to Israel. Look out for further news on TanDEM-X at
. The Microwaves and Radar Institute sends many Season´s Greetings and wishes you a Happy New Year 2017!
Future technology for glacier research
15 November 2016
IN GERMAN: Am Institut für Hochfrequenztechnik und Radarsysteme des Deutschen Zentrums für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR) haben Forscher eine neue Methode zur 3D Vermessung der Erde entwickelt. In enger Zusammenarbeit mit dem Alfred-Wegener-Institut (AWI) konnte diese Methode nun sehr erfolgreich zur Vermessung von Gletschern und Eisflächen angewendet werden.
AWI: New satellite mission promises great advances in glacier research
04 November 2016
IN GERMAN: Wissenschaftler des Alfred-Wegener-Institutes haben Experten des Deutschen Zentrums für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR) geholfen, eine neue Satelliten-Messmethode für die Beobachtung der großen Eismassen Grönlands und der Antarktis aus dem Weltall zu entwickeln. Tandem-L heißt ein neues Satellitenradar-System, das ab dem Jahr 2022 unter anderem dringend benötigte Daten zum Schrumpfen der Gletscher und Eisschilde in beiden Hemisphären liefern könnte. Über den Bau des Radars und den Start der gleichnamigen Satellitenmission berät der Wissenschaftsrat
im Rahmen eines Begutachtungsverfahrens im Auftrag des Bundesministeriums für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF).
How researchers use the latest Earth observation data - Part 3
20 October 2016
Part three of this blog series looks into our dynamic Earth: How is it changing, at what speed and with what consequences? The satellite missions TerraSAR-X and TanDEM-X offer new perspectives, which inspire scientists to take new approaches.
How researchers use the latest Earth observation data - Part 2
19 October 2016
In the second part of the series on the TerraSAR-X and TanDEM-X Science Meeting in Oberpfaffenhofen, we present further applications for satellite data. This time, for example, biomass is determined with the help of 'Earth observers from space'. Up until Thursday, 20 October 2016, international scientists will use the congress to show their research results on satellite-based Earth observation and to exchange ideas.
How researchers use the latest Earth observation data - Part 1
19 October 2016
Researchers from across the globe are in Oberpfaffenhofen for the TerraSAR-X and TanDEM-X Science Meeting. For four days, from 17 to 20 October 2016, they have the opportunity to present their results from the data acquired by the two Earth observation satellite missions and exchange information. Here, approximately 200 presentations give an overview of the latest research in satellite-based Earth observation. The radar data are used in various scientific fields, from climate research to geosciences to forestry, infrastructure planning and remote sensing methodology.
The future of radar – scientific benefits and potential of TerraSAR-X and TanDEM-X
17 October 2016
The German satellite duo TerraSAR-X and TanDEM-X have consistently delivered one-of-a-kind Earth observation data since 2007 and 2010, hence shaping the international research landscape. Now, scientific users from across the globe have gathered for the TerraSAR-X and TanDEM-X Science Meeting at the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) in Oberpfaffenhofen, where they will discuss the results obtained from the data and define requirements for future remote sensing technology.
New 3D world map – TanDEM-X global elevation model completed
29 September 2016
The new three-dimensional map of Earth
has been completed
. Mountain peaks and valley floors across the globe can now be seen with an accuracy of just one metre. The global elevation model was created as part of the TanDEM-X satellite mission; it offers unprecedented accuracy compared with other global datasets and is based on a uniform database.
HGF President visiting Oberpfaffenhofen
24 August 2016
Nearly one year ago, Prof. Otmar Wiestler has been appointed new President of the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres (HGF). During his inaugural visit in Oberpfaffenhhofen, he also came to see our Institute (IN GERMAN).
Teamwork above the North Sea and Helgoland – Common flight campaign of MACS and F-SAR
03 August 2016
IN GERMAN: Wie sich Radardaten und Daten optischer Bildgebungsverfahren in Zukunft noch besser ergänzen können, testete das Deutsche Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR) über Helgoland. Das Institut für Optische Sensorsysteme und das Institut für Hochfrequenztechnik und Radarsysteme unternahmen hierzu eine gemeinsame Befliegung, um neue Methoden der Radar-Optik-Datenfusion zu entwickeln.
Next TerraSAR-X/TanDEM-X Science Team Meeting: October 17-20, 2016 at DLR in Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany
20 July 2016
The main goal of the meeting is the presentation of results, exchange of experiences and the information about the TerraSAR-X, TanDEM-X and Tandem-L mission status. Interested scientists are kindly invited to present their research results in an oral or poster presentation. Preliminary programs, registration, hotel, and general information on the TerraSAR-X, TanDEM-X and Tandem-L workshop can be found on the
Meeting Web Site
Sentinel-1 satellites combine radar vision
22 June 2016
The twin Sentinel-1 satellites have – for the first time – combined to show their capability for revealing even small deformations in Earth’s surface. Colleagues of DLR's Microwaves and Radar (HR) Institute have been involved in this success, they were among those who processed the first Sentinel-1A vs Sentinel-1B interferograms presented in this
ESA web story
. Another interferogram processed by our colleagues is
Welt am Sonntag: Ruler of 150 Million Square Kilometers (GERMAN)
12 June 2016
IN GERMAN: Seit sechs Jahren vermessen zwei Satelliten die Oberfläche der Erde neu. Ihre Daten liefern einem Team in Oberbayern das Material für die erste komplette Weltkarte in drei Dimensionen – und auch den Anlass für politischen Streit
DLR Magazin 148 - Remote Sensing 4.0
14 April 2016
Six years after its launch, the TanDEM-X radar satellite mission will achieve its primary mission objective. A digital elevation model of the Earth with unprecedented accuracy is now more than 90 percent complete and available for use by the international scientific community.
Press releases: New radar system to detect landmines
08 April 2016
DLR Researchers recently developed a ground-based radar system that efficiently detects landmines with low false-alarm-rates. First tests on an army base in Belgium proved the suitability of this system.
Clever ruse in case of mist and darkness
22. März 2016
DLR-Magazin: An airborne radar system supports the traffic management at large events (IN GERMAN).
Monitoring natural disasters with satellite images
08 March 2016
The Earth quake on Haiti 2010, a tsunami in Japan 2011 caused by a submarine earthquake or severe floodings that afflict countries as India or Bangladesh: Scientists of Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS) meet in at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) in Bonn, Germany, in order to debate the way remote sensing images can coordinate help during natural disasters (ARTIKEL in GERMAN).
Focus on Gabon Forests for BIOMASS
03 March 2016
The DLR German Aerospace Center’s AfriSAR field team leader, Ralf Horn, said, “Everything went smoothly and the radar measurements are of excellent quality. The biggest challenge we faced was the weather, but most of the rain fell during the night and we were able to fly above the clouds.”
New radar system detects landmines
29 February 2016
DLR Researchers recently developed a ground-based radar system that efficiently detects landmines with low false-alarm-rates. First tests on an army base in Belgium proved the suitability of this system. Also the Bundeswehr indicates an interest (
ARTICLE in GERMAN
Germany's radar eyes in space
22 February 2016
In a formation flight, the German Aerospace Center's satellite twins are mapping the earth in 3-D. Their images make us wonder today: The run of Budapest's new metro tube, line 4, can be seen from space (
ARTICLE in GERMAN
Radar over the rainforest
24 February 2016
Dense rainforest, a twin-engine turbo-prop aircraft and advanced radar technology – researchers from the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) are performing numerous measurement flights from 1 to 29 February 2016 over the central African country of Gabon to determine the state of the rainforest. The data obtained will help to improve climate models and better understand global warming. The campaign is being carried out in cooperation with the European Space Agency (ESA), the French National Aerospace Research Center (Office National d'Etudes et Recherches Aérospatiales; ONERA), the Gabonese Agency for the Study of and Observation from Space (Agence d'Études et d'Observation Spatiales; AGEOS) and US Space Agency NASA. ONERA already performed measurement flights in July 2015, during the dry season, while DLR and NASA will research the rainforest with three aircraft during the rainy season. The results will serve as reference data for the ESA satellite mission
, planned for launch in 2020, and the German
Faster detection of landmines using radar
22 February 2016
Every 20 to 30 minutes, somewhere in the world, a person – often a child – steps on a landmine. It is estimated that over 100 million anti-personnel mines are buried worldwide and a further 200 to 250 million are thought to remain in military storage facilities. This means they pose a constant threat, even long after the end of a conflict. In order to facilitate the reconstruction of a country and the safe return of refugees, the ground must be cleared of concealed ordnance. The German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) has developed a radar-based method, 'TIRAMI-SAR', that will allow for the quick, safe and cost-effective detection of landmines.
Safer seafaring with satellites
17 February 2016
Sailing in the regions that polar researcher Arved Fuchs is currently navigating in his ship 'Dagmar Aaen' is a not an easy task. The 'Ocean Change' expedition is travelling around the Antarctic Peninsula, stopping off at a number of research stations to investigate how climate change is impacting the local environment. The expedition receives support from the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR), and the ship has now reached Deception Island. The DLR Earth Observation Center (EOC) is providing the crew with high-resolution
acquired by the German TerraSAR-X and TanDEM-X satellites.
Heartfelt Christmas wishes from TanDEM-X
20 December 2015
It is a very special surprise that has been sent from TanDEM-X at this years' Christmas time: a heart from Mother Earth. A lot of beautiful forms have been created in Mother Earth's history, amongst others this well-formed heart. It is part of our TanDEM-X gallery
of selected TanDEM-X images. Can you find it? In which country does it reside? It is located at coordinate
N 32.47 E 56.42
on the border between two provinces in Iran, at a western edge of Nayband National Park. This park is the worldwide last viable natural refuge for a rare leopard species that does only exist here in Iran. Look out for further news on TanDEM-X at
. The Microwaves and Radar Institute sends many season greetings and wishes you Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 2016!
Greenland's glaciers are melting - DLR satellites provide data for new long-term study
12 November 2015
IN GERMAN: Bislang galten die Gletscher im Nordosten Grönlands wegen der starken Kälte als sicher vor der Klimaerwärmung. Ein Forscherteam der amerikanischen University of California, Irvine (UCI) konnte nun jedoch in einer Langzeitstudie am Gletscher Zachariæ Isstrøm zeigen, dass die riesigen Eismassen schneller schmelzen als bisher angenommen.
The most precise map of the world
05 August 2015
The Planet Earth in 3D, and more precise than ever before! Research scientists create, with the aid of two satellites, a map of the world that has 30 times more precision. Those people who are planning an ‘active’ holiday usually take along a lot of gear – and this certainly includes a detailed hiking or biking map with precise elevation readings.
DLR/NASA – 3D radar measurements of forest areas
15 July 2015
The radar experts at DLR partnered with the US aerospace agency NASA in a measurement campaign, which has now confirmed the capability of the F-SAR system. The cooperation was aimed at validating the suitability of the radar data to infer a variety of parameters, including a forest’s height or vertical structure.
DLR Magazin - About heights and depths
24 June 2015
Summer time - vacation time. Read our "DLR Magazin" title story about "Heights and Depths" in the Wadden Sea measured via airborne SAR interferometry with F-SAR (IN GERMAN).
F-SAR overflies lava fields on Iceland
12 June 2015
These 'earthly' measurements will be part of a study for a future extraterrestric mission. New radar technologies are now tested and will one day fly to Venus on a NASA probe whose radar will be able to penetrate dense clouds of acid sulfur in the Venus atmosphere to explore Venus' volcanic surface (IN GERMAN).
ARCTIC15 - Airborne SAR acquisitions up and running
02 June 2015
Three calibration flights, 10 flights to test sites, and over 100 radar data sets resulting in 4.8 Terabyte of SAR data. These are the numbers behind the work our F-SAR team conducted within the last two weeks – including even the alteration from the X-C-S-L to the P-band antenna configuration and fortunately only one bad weather day.
Cosmic scarring in radar view
12 June 2015
There are just 188 known meteorite craters worldwide. Some span a mere 10 metres, while others extend across 160 kilometres and are significantly more impressive. They all share a common history – an object from outer space must hit the Earth travelling at least 11 kilometres per second, or 39,000 kilometres per hour, to leave behind an impact crater.
DLR Article: Radar's view into eternal ice
22 May 2015
The Greenland ice sheet is, in places, more than three kilometres thick and a crucial feature in climate modelling. Scientists of the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR), together with colleagues from ETH Zurich (Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich), are currently conducting tests of new radar imaging methods in a research flight campaign over Greenland initiated by the Microwaves and Radar Institute in cooperation with the Danish Defence Acquisition and Logistics Organization (DALO). These methods shall provide information about three-dimensional snow and ice conditions at depths of up to 50 metres.
DLR AERONAUTICS BLOG: F-SAR Greenland Campaigns "ARCTIC15" and "DALOEX15"
21 May 2015
Our F-SAR Greenland campaign ARCTIC15 can now also be followed in DLR blog AERONAUTICS.
BLOG: F-SAR Greenland Campaigns "ARCTIC15" and "DALOEX15"
13 May 2015
Learn what happend so far during our F-SAR Greenland campaigns ARCTIC15 and DALOEX15.
F-SAR Greenland Campaigns "ARCTIC15" and "DALOEX15"
13 May 2015
ARCTIC15 is a campaign promoted by the Microwaves and Radar Institute of the German Aerospace Center (DLR), carried out in cooperation with the Danish Defence Acquisition and Logistics Organization (DALO) as well as ETH Zurich, and with the support of the Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI). It takes place in Greenland from mid-April to end-May 2015 with the objective of collecting polarimetric-interferometric SAR data at different frequencies (X-, C-, S-, L- and P-band) over different facies of the ice sheet, while the objective of the DALO part of the campaign (DALOEX 2015) is to explore the possibilities that advanced SAR systems provide for surveillance etc. in Arctic scenarios.
DLR Support: Nepal Earthquake on the Radar
29 April 2015
Radar imagery from the Sentinel-1A satellite shows that the maximum land deformation is only 17 km from Nepal’s capital, Kathmandu, which explains the extremely high damage experienced in this area. Our Institute now helped producing first Sentinel interferograms mapping these deformations.
TanDEM-X image of the month - Changes in permafrost landscapes
01 April 2015
Approximately one quarter of the Northern Hemisphere contains permafrost – an area so vast it can only be regularly and comprehensively monitored through satellite remote sensing. The Lena Delta in Siberia lies in such a permafrost zone.
FRINGE'15: Ground deformation around the city of Naples
23. März 2015
Ten Sentinel-1A radar scans acquired between 7 October 2014 and 12 March 2015 were combined to create this image of ground deformation around the city of Naples, which includes the active volcanic areas of Italy’s Phlegraean Fields – or Campi Flegrei – and the Vesuvius volcano. Dark blue indicates areas that experienced an uplift of about 0.5 cm per month, while red areas show subsidence down to 0.5 per month. The purple square over the city of Naples indicates the location of the calibration point. These preliminary results are presently presented at the Fringe Workshop at ESA’s ESRIN centre for Earth observation.
Data Transmission via LTE
18 March 2015
So far, in the VABENE++ project data gets transmitted from the aircraft/helicopter to the ground via a special microwave link or an optical laser link. However, for these data links a special mobile ground station needs to be set up in the field. Now a study was carried out to investigate whether the modern mobile communication standard “Long Term Evolution” (LTE) can be used as an alternative or supplementary data transfer technique. For data reception on the ground only the already available LTE ground station infrastructure of the cellphone providers was considered.
POLinSAR Workshop: Mapping forest structure from space
02 February 2015
Over the last 10 years a new method using satellite radar data has been maturing to provide 3D views of Earth’s natural resources and urban environments. Scientists from around the world gathered recently to share the latest advances in the exciting technique of ‘POLinSAR’.
Christmas news on TanDEM-X
23. Dezember 2014
One of Santa Claus' reindeers has been spotted by TanDEM-X. It has been hiding itself on the snow-covered, mountainous Tajmyr peninsula in North Siberia. Can you see it? We are now very excited and wonder if TanDEM-X will be able to reveal the secret home of Santa Claus, too. Look out for further news on TanDEM-X at
. The Microwaves and Radar Institute sends many season greetings and wishes you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Sentinel-1A: Mexico City Subsidence
15 December 2014
ESA’s satellite Sentinel-1A now measures the subsidence of Mexico City as previously done by
TerraSAR-X in 2010
. Five Sentinel-1A radar scans acquired between 3 October and 2 December 2014 were combined to create this image of ground deformation in Mexico City. These preliminary results have been obtained by the Microwaves and Radar Institute in the frame of an ESA study to evaluate the interferometric performance of the Sentinel-1A satellite. The deformation is caused by ground water extraction, with some areas of the city subsiding with a deformation rate of up to 2.5 cm/month (red).
ESA Space Images
TanDEM-X: A feel for ice
25 November 2014
Shelves of ice, hundreds of metres thick, breaking into thousands of small icebergs that melt away in just a few days. This is not a scene from a disaster movie, but actually happened in the Antarctic in 1995 and 2002. High-resolution images acquired by the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) TanDEM-X satellite are helping glaciologists from the University of Innsbruck track down the causes.
TanDEM-X - Gallery now on-line!
20 November 2014
TanDEM-X not only provides scientific data. From an artistic point of view, it also provides astonishing images. A collection of beatifully visualized Digital Elevation Models has now been compiled for the first time and put on-line in an image gallery via
TanDEM-X – Start of the Science Phase of the mission
10 October 2014
After four years of successful data acquisition for the new global topographical map of Earth, the Science Phase is beginning.
Blog: Satellite formation change successfully completed
24 September 2014
IN GERMAN: Den Missionen TerraSAR-X und TanDEM-X standen wieder Tage der Veränderung ins Haus - und zwar die Änderung der Flugformation des Raumsegments. Der Grund dafür war der Übergang in eine neue Phase der Mission nachdem die Aufnahmen für das globale Höhenmodell Mitte September abgeschlossen wurden. Bis Ende 2015 werden mit der TanDEM-X-Mission neuartige Radartechniken und innovative Anwendungen erprobt.
Radar remote sensing: Research for acriculture and climate
19 September 2014
IN GERMAN: Das Erntejahr 2014 nähert sich dem Ende und in ganz Deutschland zeichnen sich für Weizen, Mais & Co. insgesamt gute Erträge ab. Standortabhängig zeigen sich jedoch extreme Unterschiede. Für optimalen Anbau ist es daher wichtig, den Zustand des Bodens und der Pflanze stets zu kennen. Radaraufnahmen sind besonders gut geeignet, flächendeckende Beobachtungen durchzuführen – per Flugzeug oder per Satellit.
TerraSAR-X image shows spread of lava at Bardarbunga
16 September 2014
The lava outflow on the Holuhraun field northeast of Iceland's Bardarbunga volcano continues unabated. The lava field has grown to cover an area greater than 25 square kilometres. In this satellite image, the extent of the lava field is revealed using different colours.
Sentinel-1 poised to monitor motion
26 August 2014
Although it was only launched a few months ago and is still being commissioned, the new Sentinel-1A radar satellite has already shown that it can be used to generate 3D models of Earth’s surface and will be able to closely monitor land and ice surface deformation. The Microwaves and Radar Institute has been involved in the computation of the first Sentinel-1A interferograms in the new interferometric wide swath (IW) mode, providing in this way support to ESA.
Radar images for agriculture applications
19 August 2014
PRESS ARTICLE, IN GERMAN: Osterhofener Zeitung, Lokalteil der Passauer Neuen Presse
zur diesjährigen Flugkampagne Wallerfing: "Neusling. Einmal in der Woche ist über dem kleinen Ort Neusling ein tiefes Wummern zu hören. Zu sehen ist die Turbopropmaschine, eine weiße DO 228 mit roter Heckflosse, auf ihrem Flug in 3000 Meter Höhe aber nur ganz klein. An Bord: Präzisionssensoren für Geländeaufnahmen im Mikrowellenbereich. Diese Radaraufnahmen sind Teil eines Forschungsprojekts, bei dem zum Vergleich Feuchtigkeit und Rauhigkeit des Bodens sowie Wachstumsstadium und Struktur der Pflanzen bestimmt werden. Ziel ist es, später alleine anhand von Radaraufnahmen bei kilometerweiten Feldern entscheiden zu können, ob zum Beispiel der Boden bewässert werden muss ..."
TanDEM-X sees rice growing
14 August 2014
Can the height of a rice plant be measured from space? TanDEM-X, a DLR mission designed to generate high accuracy global elevation models, has been shown to be capable of doing just that.
Traces of humankind – settlement patterns seen from space
25 June 2014
The sometimes bold, other times delicate lines in the images that scientists from the German Aerospace Center (DLR) have created using data acquired by the German radar satellites TerraSAR-X and TanDEM-X resemble Chinese ink drawings. In truth, though, the black and white maps taken from an altitude of over 500 kilometres show the world's cities, villages and groups of houses wiggling along the course of rivers, following the lines of roads and rail tracks or spreading out into the arable countryside.
DLR at ILA 2014: The satellite missions
26 May 2014
From 20-25 May 2014, the German Aerospace Center (DLR) presented research topics and projects at ILA International Air Show Berlin, amongst others also the satellite missions TanDEM-X and Tandem-L. Professor Alberto Moreira summarizes the highlights of radar remote sensing in an interview in the following
A new map of Earth – in 3D and extremely precise
19 May 2014
This ambitious project started on 21 June 2010, when the radar satellite TanDEM-X set off into space to join its twin satellite, TerraSAR-X. Since then, these two German satellites have been orbiting Earth in an intricate formation and mapping its surface. Now, the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) is making the first elevation models of a new global topography for scientific use.
EUSAR 2014: Prelimary Program consolidated, proceedings in preparation
28 April 2014
The EUSAR 2014 conference takes place at the very heart of Berlin near Brandenburg Gate from June 03 - June 05, 2014. For those interested there will also be tutorials on latest SAR technologies prior to the conference on Monday, April 02, 2014 and, additionally, the conference is accompanied by the 2014 CEOS SAR Workshop on Calibration and Validation on Friday June 06, 2014. The EUSAR 2014 Technical Program is now consolidated, available online and its conference proceedings are prepared presently. Early bird fees for a EUSAR 2014 registration are available until
. Please refer to
for more information.
First radar images: ESA’s new Sentinel-1A satellite
16 April 2014
Launched on 3 April, ESA’s Sentinel-1A satellite has already delivered its first radar images. The HR Institute has been member of the industrial consortium for the space segment with the responsibility for the calibration concept and algorithms. It is now involved in the commissioning phase of Sentinel-1 in the scope of an ESA contract for the calibration of the radar instrument and with another study for the demonstration of TOPS interferometry.
DLR Magazine: World atlas – 'made in space'
25 March 2014
In June 2007, the TerraSAR-X radar satellite was launched. It entered Earth orbit, where it flew ‘solo’ for three years until June 2010, when its twin, TanDEM-X, followed it into space. With their radar antennas pointed at Earth, they are on a mission to generate a three-dimensional elevation model of our planet. Now that the first elevation models are available for users, a true milestone has been reached on the journey towards a highly precise, three-dimensional world atlas ‘made in space’.
Fastest glacier in Greenland – DLR satellites TerraSAR-X and TanDEM-X identify speed record
04 February 2014
Since the 1990s, Jakobshavn Isbræ has been regarded as the fastest moving glacier in Greenland. According to studies carried out by researchers from the University of Washington and the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR), its speed is now increasing dramatically, with record figures for 2012 and 2013. High spatial and temporal resolution data acquired by the German radar satellites TerraSAR-X and TanDEM-X enabled very precise calculations of its speed. The results of the study will be released in the print version of 'The Cryosphere', an international scientific journal of the European Geosciences Union (EGU), on 7 February 2014.
TerraSAR-X data support the rescue of "Akademik Shokalskiy" in brash ice
09 January 2014
AVAILABLE IN GERMAN: Zehn Tage saßen 74 Wissenschaftler und Touristen an Bord des russischen Forschungsschiffs "Akademik Shokalskiy" in der Antarktis fest. Starker Wind hatte Eisschollen in eine Bucht getrieben und das Schiff blockiert. Hochauflösende Satellitendaten des Deutschen Zentrums für Luft-und Raumfahrt (DLR) halfen bei der Beurteilung der Eissituation vor Ort. Die Verhältnisse können sich im Packeis durch drehende Winde schnell verändern. Deshalb nutzen DLR-Wissenschaftler aus dem Earth Oberservation Center (EOC) aktuelle hochauflösende Aufnahmen des Erdbeoachtungssatelliten TerraSAR-X, um der Schiffsbesatzung des Forschungsschiffs aktuelle Informationen über die Eisverhältnisse zu liefern. Der deutsche Radarsatellit wird in verschiedenen Modi betrieben, um Aufnahmen mit unterschiedlichen Streifenbreiten, Auflösungen und Polarisationen zu ermöglichen.
TerraSAR-X image of the month – Coral Atoll Kiritimati
16 Dezember 2013
AVAILABLE IN GERMAN: Paris ist verlassen, in Polen leben 235 Menschen, und London hat immerhin 1829 Einwohner. Auf dem Atoll Kiritimati ist vieles anders - und so werden aus europäischen Großstädten oder Ländern winzige Orte. Der abgelegenen Insel im Pazifik, auf der Seefahrer James Cook mit seiner Mannschaft 1777 Weihnachten feierte, steht das Wasser buchstäblich bis zum Hals. Das Korallen-Atoll hat zwar 321 Quadratkilometer Landfläche - aber auch 324 Quadratkilometer Lagunenfläche. Treffen die bisherigen Schätzungen zu, könnte der Inselstaat Kiribati mitsamt der Insel Kiritimati etwa im Jahr 2070 aufgrund des Klimawandels und des Anstiegs des Meeresspiegels im Pazifik versinken. Für den Radarsatelliten TerraSAR-X des Deutschen Zentrums für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR) sieht das Atoll aus über 500 Kilometern Höhe wie eine poröse, zerbrechliche Struktur aus.
+++ The winner of DLR_Science_Slam 2013 is: Team REMOTE SENSING +++
06 December 2013
As last year, the final of this year's DLR_Science_Slam took place at the evening event of DLR's annual general assembly, held yesterday on 05 December 2013 in Göttingen and DLR colleagues could join the event via a live video broadcast. Two teams reached the final: TEAM SOLAR: Christoph Prahl and Christoph Hilgert (Institute for Solar Research, Almeria in Spain) and TEAM REMOTE SENSING: Michele Martone, Maria Tello Alonso (both Microwaves and Radarinstitute, Oberpfaffenhofen), Daniele Cerra, Claas Hendrik Grohnfeldt, Aliaksei Makarau, Kevin Alonso Gonzalez (each Remote Sensing Technology Institute, Oberpfaffenhofen). The voting of a jury, the hall audience and those connected via internet and mobil phones after both presentations resulted in a "The winner is: TEAM REMOTE SENSING!!!" Cordially congratulations to both teams! Watch (DLR internally) both contributions here:
EUSAR 2014 - Organized by DLR’s Microwaves and Radar Institute
The 10th European Conference on Synthetic Aperture Radar (EUSAR) is being organized by DLR’s Microwaves and Radar Institute in the heart of Berlin. Traditionally, EUSAR's organization rotates among the four founding organizations: Fraunhofer (FHR), EADS Astrium, EADS Cassidian and DLR (HR). After EUSAR 2000 in Munich and EUSAR 2006 in Dresden we choose Berlin (Hotel Maritim at Tiergarten near Brandenburg Gate) as venue for EUSAR 2014. Over the years EUSAR has developed to the world's most renowned conference in the field of Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR). Despite the difficult situation of travel fund shortages in traditionally strongly represented countries we received more than 400 papers for EUSAR 2014. More than 1200 reviews have been assigned and have been nearly finished by more than 150 SAR-experts from all over the world. We will soon be able to create a first, preliminary EUSAR 2014 Program and would like to thank all our reviewers for spending their precious time and support to make EUSAR 2014 a success.
First Alliance Week of the Helmholtz Alliance: Remote Sensing and Earth System Dynamics
27 September 2013
For the first time, all scientists of the Helmholtz Alliance "Remote Sensing and Earth System Dynamics" will meet in the frame of an Alliance Week, which will take place in Garmisch-Partenkirchen from 7th until 10th October 2013. The project coordinators of the German Aerospace Center will welcome partners from eight Helmholtz Centres, eleven Universities and three research institutions. In the presence of the External Advisory Board, the User Board and further external experts, first results will be presented and future research directions will be established. The first Alliance Week will highly stimulate the scientific progress of the project and will pave the way for the upcoming years.
Federal Minister of Defence de Maizière visits Oberpfaffenhofen, amongst others the Microwaves and Radar Institute
13 September 2013
IN GERMAN: Dr. Thomas de Maizière, Bundesminister der Verteidigung, hat am 13. September 2013 das Deutsche Zentrum für Luft-und Raumfahrt (DLR) besucht, um sich über aktuelle und zukünftige Forschungsvorhaben der DLR-Sicherheitsforschung zu informieren. Dr. Dennis Göge, Programmkoordinator des DLR-Querschnittsbereichs Sicherheitsforschung, begrüßte den Minister in Oberpfaffenhofen stellvertretend für den Vorstandsvorsitzenden des DLR, Prof. Dr. Johann-Dietrich Wörner.
Wide-angle view from space
30 August 2013
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 (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; 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.
Roskosmos signs participation in "International Charter Space and Major Disasters"
28 August 2013
IN GERMAN ONLY: Auf dem Luft- und Raumfahrtsalon MAKS Moskau hat die russische Raumfahrtbehörde Roskosmos am 28. August 2013 im feierlichen Rahmen eine Erklärung über den Beitritt zur "International Charter Space and Major Disasters" unterzeichnet. Die Charta setzt den Rahmen für ein internationales Netzwerk aus nunmehr 15 Raumfahrtagenturen, die weltweit im Fall von großen Katastrophen kurzfristig Satellitenaufnahmen der Unglücksregionen zur Verfügung stellen. Der Vorsitz der Charta liegt derzeit beim Deutschen Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR).
Longest glacier in Antarctica has 'calved'
09 July 2013
Ice researchers use data from the DLR-operated TerraSAR-X Earth observation satellite: Two gigantic cracks have formed in Pine Island Glacier, the longest and fastest-flowing glacier in the Antarctic. A new iceberg with an area of over 720 square kilometres and its smaller 'brother' separated from the glacier on 8 July 2013 and have 'calved' into the Amundsen Sea, off the west coast of Antarctica. Images acquired by the TerraSAR-X Earth observation satellite, operated by the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR), documented the gradual propagation of the first crack over a period of several months. On 11 May 2012, a second crack was discovered. Glaciologists can use this data to better understand the processes involved in the calving of icebergs.
TanDEM-X Science Team Meeting: Presentations now available
26 June 2013
All TanDEM-X Science Meeting presentations are now
and can be
bulk downloaded (348 MB !!!)
DLR delivers satellite images for Indian flood assistance
24 June 2013
Following severe flooding in northern India and Nepal, the Indian government activated the 'International Charter Space and Major Disasters' on 19 June 2013 at 10:30. The German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) tasked its radar satellite TerraSAR-X with acquiring images of the affected areas and made these available to the Indian civil protection authorities.
TerraSAR-X/TanDEM-X Science Team Meetings: FINAL Program now available
10 June 2013
The FINAL TerraSAR-X/TanDEM-X Science Meeting Program is now
DLR maps flooding areas in Germany with TerraSAR-X
04 June 2013
IN GERMAN: Das Kartenmaterial des Zentrums für Satellitengestützte Kriseninformation (ZKI) des Deutschen Zentrums für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR) zeigt das Ausmaß der Flutkatastrophe deutlich: In Passau stehen ganze Stadtviertel am Zusammenfluss von Inn und Donau unter Wasser, im Gebiet um Elxleben nördlich von Erfurt sind ganze Flächen überflutet. Die Informationen, die die Einsatzkräfte in den deutschen Hochwassergebieten unterstützen, erhält das ZKI aus aktuellen Aufnahmen des deutschen Radarsatelliten TerraSAR-X.
TerraSAR-X image of the month – A game of mirrors
11 March 2013
2153 mirrors twist and turn at the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) Experimental Solar Thermal Power Plant in Jülich, directing sunlight onto a 22-square-metre receiver. TerraSAR-X, the German radar satellite operated by DLR, can also detect the mirrors as they follow the Sun – from more than 500 kilometres above Earth. The reflections of the radar signals make the tower and mirror array appear as bright spots of light.
Next TerraSAR-X/TanDEM-X Science Team Meetings: June 10-14, 2013 at DLR in Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany
08 January 2013
The main goals of the two meetings are the provision of information to the mission status, your presentation of the first results obtained with TanDEM-X science data and the exchange of experiences with other researchers. Interested scientists are kindly invited to present their research results in an oral or poster presentation. Please note that a separate registration for TanDEM-X and TerraSAR-X sessions is required. The TerraSAR-X sessions will be on June 10 -11, the TanDEM-X sessions will be on June 12-14. A common session on Wednesday (June 12) morning.
The online services for registration and abstract submission will be open from February 15, 2013 on our webpages:
TanDEM-X: https://tandemx-science.dlr.de (June 12-14, 2012)
TerraSAR-X: http://sss.terrasar-x.dlr.de/ (June 10 -11, 2012)
Please notice the following deadlines for both meetings:
Registration: from February 15th, 2013 until April 30th, 2013
Abstract submission: from February 15th, 2013 until April 15th, 2013
TerraSAR-X image of the month – the coastal cliffs of Christmas Island
07 January 2013
Captain William Mynors was not particularly creative as he sailed past a remote island in the Indian Ocean on the 'Royal Mary', a ship belonging to the British East India Company, on 25 December 1643. He named the 135-square-kilometre island, which he could not even disembark on, 'Christmas Island'. In the image acquired with the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) TerraSAR-X radar satellite, one thing is clear – even today, tropical rainforest proliferates on the island and the coastal cliffs continue to make life difficult for mariners.
TerraSAR-X image of the month – the Santorini volcano expands
23 November 2012
Glasses are rattling on the shelves and the ground is rumbling – since January 2011 the earth under the Santorini volcano has been stirring. Most of the time, it is barely noticeable, but every now and then the inhabitants notice small tremors jolting the volcanic archipelago. Nearly circular, and seemingly carved from stone, the submerged caldera is located in the Aegean Sea. "It was clear to the local people that something was happening with the volcano – but it wasn't until we saw, among other things, the images from the TerraSAR-X radar satellite that we realised that molten rock was pooling beneath the volcano," says British scientist Juliet Biggs from the University of Bristol. Images acquired by the German Aerospace Center's (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) satellite show the entire archipelago not just rising, but also expanding.
Final Spurt towards Deutscher Zukunftspreis 2012
19 November 2012
On 28 November 2012, the German President Joachim Gauck will announce the winner of the Federal Award for Technology and Innovation (Deutscher Zukunftspreis 2012) in Berlin. Four teams are nominated for this high-ranking recognition. In this video, you may watch the official introduction of our nominated project, called „Radar Eyes in Space“.
Click here (available only in German)
DLR Science Slam: Our contribution "All you need is Tandem-L"
13 November 2012
The DLR Science Slam contribution "All you need is Tandem-L" of our Institute at the DLR Science Slam event on 13 November 2012 in Oberpfaffenhofen has enthused the audience. In the final voting after all contributions, we achieved the second place after DLR Institute of Atmospheric Physics and before the DLR Remote Sensing Technology Institute.
Bavarian Broadcast Station telecasts about 75 Years Research in Oberpfaffenhofen
22 October 2012
IN GERMAN: 1936 baute Dornier auf einer Wiese bei Oberpfaffenhofen einen kleinen Flugplatz mit Werft. Damals hätte wohl niemand vermutet, dass dieser Standort einmal so bekannt werden würde für Spitzenleistungen in der Luft- und Raumfahrt.
TerraSAR-X image of the month – stage clear for the salt flats
19 October 2012
The Bonneville Salt Flats is the largest salt pan lying to the west of the Great Salt Lake, in the northern part of the US state of Utah. The salt pan arose towards the end of the last ice age as a consequence of Lake Bonneville drying up. This was a prehistoric lake that stretched across a large section of the major basin to the west of the Rocky Mountains, and of which only the Great Salt Lake now remains. The former Bonneville Lake is history; today the salt flats stretch out over an area of some 10,360 square kilometres.
Open House Presentation 2012
21 October 2012, from 10 am - 5 pm
we will have an Open Day event at DLR Oberpfaffenhofen. You are cordially invited to join us.
Read more (in German)
Novel radar satellite technology nominated for the German Award for Technology and Innovation (Deutscher Zukunftspreis)
12 September 2012
- Scientists of the Microwaves and Radar Institute with their project "Radar Eyes in Space - Revolutionary Technology for Earth and Environment" are nominated for the German Future Award "Deutscher Zukunftspreis". This award of the German president for Technology and Innovation is presented every year to scientist and developers whose innovations lead to application-oriented and herewith marketable products. The prestigious award will be presented by the German president Bundespräsident Joachim Gauck, end of November in Berlin (ARTICLE IN GERMAN).
DLR Blog: IGARSS 2012
01 August 2012
Last week was amazing – the largest ever International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium (IGARSS) was held in Munich. With over 2700 participants from 68 countries, and over 2500 scientific presentations, it was an excellent platform for knowledge exchange and the exploration and discussion of topics related to 'Remote Sensing for a Dynamic Earth'. Some of the highlights of the symposium included ESA's Envisat and upcoming Sentinel missions, the future of Earth observation, and last but not least, DLR's TanDEM-X and TerraSAR-X satellites.
Flagship event for remote sensing – IGARSS 2012 opens
23 July 2012
The most important conference in the world on geoscience and remote sensing has begun – some 2400 experts from more than 70 countries will be guests at the International Congress Center in Munich until 27 July 2012. The focus of the International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium (IGARSS) will be on new applications, integrated Earth observation systems, satellite image processing methods, as well as ongoing and future satellite missions.
IGARSS 2012 Live Web Broadcast
21 July 2012
During International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium IGARSS 2012 in Munich we will have a live broadcast of six oral sessions. Please have a look here.
IGARSS 2012 – ‘Remote Sensing for a Dynamic Earth’
10 July 2012
One of the most important conferences on geoscience and remote sensing will take place at the International Congress Centre in Munich from 22 to 27 July 2012. The International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium (IGARSS) is being organised by the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR), the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Geoscience and Remote Sensing Society (GRSS), part of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).
TerraSAR-X Image of the Month - Bottleneck off the Orkney Islands
02 July 2012
A mere 10 kilometres separate John O'Groats, at the northernmost tip of the Scottish mainland, and South Ronaldsay, in the Orkney Islands. What passengers on the ferries directly experience can also be observed from space by the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) TanDEM-X and TerraSAR-X satellite duo; in the Pentland Firth, the water flows at great speed, often causing a rough crossing.
Anniversary in space – five years of TerraSAR-X
15 June 2012
Five years ago today, at 04:14 CEST on 15 June 2007, the German TerraSAR-X radar satellite was launched from Russia's Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. This marked the beginning of a new era in satellite remote sensing for Germany. Designed to operate for five years, the satellite has now completed its nominal service life but it remains in excellent condition; it is expected to continue functioning for several more years.
Don’t miss IGARSS 2012
01 June 2012
One of the most important conferences on geoscience and remote sensing is just around the corner. With a record number of 3400 papers to be given, this premier event is set to be one of the biggest highlights in this year’s scientific agenda. The 2012 International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium (IGARSS) is being held in Munich, Germany, on 22–27 July and co-organized by ESA and DLR.
11 May 2012
The twin-mission TerraSAR-X and TanDEM-X is an extraordinary constellation and a highlight in terms of technical innovation in satellite steering. Planned as a single mission "TerraSAR-X", the initially individual satellite has been accompanied by a nearly perfect twin (IN GERMAN).
TerraSAR-X image of the month – Lively winter view
02 March 2012
Ice and snow can be colourful – at least when seen through the 'eyes' of the German Aerospace Center's (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt - DLR) TerraSAR-X radar satellite. The radar signals are able to penetrate the snow cover to a depth of one metre – and the subsurface reflects the pulse in different ways. This makes the frozen delta of the Mackenzie River in Canada appear multi-coloured in an image revealing the various structures in the landscape underneath the snow.
A step closer to mapping the Earth in 3D
13 January 2012
After a year in service, the German Earth observation satellite TanDEM-X, together with its twin satellite, TerraSAR-X, have completely mapped the entire land surface of Earth for the first time. The data is being used to create the world's first single-source, high-precision, 3D digital elevation model of Earth. The German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) controls both radar satellites, generates the elevation model and is responsible for the scientific use of TanDEM-X data.
Preparations under way for IGARSS 2012
11 Januar 2012
One of the biggest conferences on geoscience and remote sensing will be held this summer in Europe. The deadline for abstract submissions for the July symposium is fast approaching. Jointly organised by the IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Society, the DLR German Aerospace Center and ESA, the 2012 International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium (IGARSS) is scheduled to be held 22–27 July in Munich, Germany.
TerraSAR-X image of the month - Tents in the desert
03 November 2011
Viewed from above, the US 'Burning Man' festival resembles a spider web. The structure laid out on the site for this festival looks very much like a small town. In October and September 2011, the TerraSAR-X radar satellite, operated by the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR), acquired some impressive images of the festival and its setup process.
TerraSAR-X image of the month - Gas tank covers all the way from space
02 September 2011
When a series of images acquired with the German radar satellite TerraSAR-X – operated by the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) – are combined into a sequence, the result is truly amazing; even gas storage tanks can have an eventful life of their own. The position of their covers reveals the amount of gas in the tanks; as it varies over time, TerraSAR-X gazes down at the bobbing of the gas tank covers in the Italian Porto Marghera.
TerraSAR-X image of the month - Volcanic eruption in Chile
22 July 2011
The crater of the Chilean volcano Puyehue displays a striking, circular outline in this image from the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) TerraSAR-X satellite – so this was not the culprit when a volcano in the southern Andes erupted on 4 June 2011.
DLR Magazine 129 • 130 - Seeing double
20 July 2011
Although the cover looks like batik work, it is actually an interferogram showing the landscape around the River Taz in Siberia. The data for the image was acquired by the TanDEM-X and TerraSAR-X satellites, which are flying in formation and surveying the surface of the Earth. By 2013, DLR will have created an extremely accurate digital elevation model of Earth's entire land surface.
Elevation models from SRTM now available for download free of charge
25 May 2011
When Space Shuttle Endeavour launched on 11 February 2000 for the 'Shuttle Radar Topography Mission' (SRTM), it was carrying two radar antennas; one in the shuttle's payload bay and the other on the end of a 60-metre mast. Over the course of eleven days, researchers at the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) acquired data for a three-dimensional terrain model of large areas of the Earth. Now, DLR is making these data available for scientific purposes via EOWEB, free of charge.
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