The research group Mission Engineering is mainly engaged with aspects relevant for the realization of satellite SAR missions with respect to the mission in general. This means in particular the establishment of acquisition scenarios, the analysis of SAR relevant questions and the overall monitoring of the most relevant system parameters. During the planning phase before a SAR mission, acquisition concepts need to be developed.
For this purpose, all relevant parameters like acquisition modes and their data rates, the capacity of downlinks and the areas that shall be acquired are connected to a coherent concept. Orbit analyses are incorporated in these concepts, from which orbit parameters and orbit scenarios are derived. During the mission, the acquisition scenarios have to be adapted to actual needs to successfully accomplish the mission.
As another field of work, long-term analyses of the SAR system are performed to ensure the goals of the overall mission. Regular reports about the actual state of relevant system parameters provide information about the behavior of the satellite and of the whole system. In the actual mission TanDEM-X for example, the main focus lies on the dedicated planning of the global acquisitions for the digital elevation model.
Directly connected to this planning is the optimization of the helix formation both satellites are flying in. To monitor the quality of the acquisitions, global maps are derived and dedicated analyses concerning the relevant interferometric parameters are performed. These are again input for the future planning.