The Institute is divided into four departments and currently employs more than 200 staff members, including scientists, engineers, technicians and support staff, as well as PhD students, undergraduates and visiting scientists. Three of the Institute's departments work in the field of Earth Observation and one works on issues related to intelligence and security.

The SAR Technology Department is responsible for the development of airborne F-SAR and participates in space-based SAR projects with flight campaigns to simulate and validate new data products and demonstrate new technologies. The Satellite SAR Systems and Radar Concepts departments work on the design of new space-based SAR missions and develop new sensor concepts and techniques for future radar systems. The Satellite SAR Systems department is responsible for the operation of the radar instruments on TerraSAR-X and TanDEM-X and provides the Mission Manager. The Radar Concepts Department is involved in the development of new sensor-related applications. All major projects and activities with a military link to space-based SAR activities are concentrated in the Reconnaissance and Security Department. Expertise in passive microwave systems is also located in this department, as most passive microwave projects are currently based on security applications.