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Harmony: Future mission for our earth
01 March 2021
IN GERMAN: „Harmony“ soll wichtige wissenschaftliche Fragen zu Veränderungen von Meeren, Eis und Land beantworten - ESA wählt „Harmony“ als Zukunftsmission im Bereich Erdbeobachtung aus. Die Veränderungen der Erde und ihr empfindliches Gleichgewicht zu verstehen, ist von immer größer werdender Bedeutung. "Mit der Mission Harmony haben wir die Möglichkeit, neue Einblicke in Prozesse des Erdsystems zu gewinnen. Das stellt eine erhebliche wissenschaftliche und technische Herausforderung dar," betont Prof. Alberto Moreira, Direktor des Instituts für Hochfrequenztechnik und Radarsysteme beim Deutschen Zentrum für Luft-und Raumfahrt (DLR).
Global Change: The Earth System
18. January 2021
‘Global change’ is not a recently invented term – it has been used since the 1980s to describe changes in the Earth system driven or triggered by human activities. In contrast to climate change, which only deals with one specific issue, global change takes into account a larger range of processes. For many years, DLR has been researching global change with a wide variety of missions. It develops archiving and processing technologies, devises algorithms for extracting relevant parameters from EO data and analyses the results.
Season´s Greetings and wishes from TanDEM-X!
22. Dezember 2020
Our Christmas star (
Download [11 MB]
) this year comes from Italy and was observed by the TanDEM-X satellite mission. The municipality of Palmanova, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is located in the Veneto region. It was laid out at the end of the 16th century as a fortified city of the Republic of Venice, and its star-shaped layout followed the concept of Renaissance city planners for an ideal city. In this TanDEM-X image, the surface elevation is shown in colors (dark blue is 12 m and red is 38 m above mean sea level), while the brightness is proportional to the radar backscatter intensity. TanDEM-X was launched in 2010 and has been operating since then together with its twin TerraSAR-X as a bistatic SAR interferometer. This year we are commenmorating 10 years of TanDEM-X operations in close formation flight. The global digital elevation model (DEM) of TanDEM-X has been available since 2016 for commercial and scientific applications. A new edition of this global dataset, denoted as Change DEM, will be available soon. Look out for further news on TanDEM-X on
The Microwaves and Radar Institute wishes you Merry Christmas 2020 and a Happy New Year 2021!
On to new heights - 10 years of TanDEM-X
20 December 2020
IN GERMAN: Seit Dezember 2010 bilden die Zwillingssatelliten TerraSAR-X und TanDEM-X, die im engen Formationsflug um die Erde kreisen, ein einzigartiges Radarinterferometer. Was bis 2010 nur in 2D erfassbar war (Bildteil in Schwarz-Weiß), gewann mit dem Satelliten TanDEM-X eine Dimension dazu. Zu sehen ist das Lenadelta in Russland. Der Fluss mündet hier nach 4.294 Kilometern in die Laptewsee, ein Randmeer des Arktischen Ozeans. Die etwa 1.500 kleinen Inseln im Delta ändern permanent ihre Form, weil das mitgeführte Material sich als Sediment ablagert und das Wasser umlenkt. In einem Atlas wäre das gesamte Gebiet nur in einer Höhe dargestellt. TanDEM-X sieht die Unterschiede viel differenzierter – mit einer Genauigkeit, die zwei Meter Auflösung noch übertrifft. Bereits 2016 erstellten DLR-Wissenschaftlerinnen und -Wissenschaftler ein exaktes 3D-Höhenmodell der gesamten Erdoberfläche aus den Daten der Mission TanDEM-X. Seitdem sammeln die Zwillingssatelliten Daten für ein zweites globales Höhenmodell. Das soge-nannte Change DEM (Digital Elevation Model) dokumentiert Veränderungen der Erdoberfläche in drei Dimensionen. Erste Auswertungen zeigen dramatische Entwicklungen wie das Abschmelzen von Gletschern und Eisschilden oder die ungehemmte Abholzung tropischer Wälder.
Glacial retreat in the Alps – first comprehensive documentation
08 July 2020
A research team from Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) conducted the first study of area and elevation changes for all Alpine glaciers over a period of 14 years. This involved comparing three-dimensional terrain models obtained from the German radar satellite mission TanDEM-X and the German-US Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) between 2000 and 2014. The team combined the elevation models with optical images from NASA’s Landsat satellites. They found that the Alps have lost approximately 17 percent of their total ice volume since the turn of the millennium. The team recently published the results of their study in the journal Nature Communications.
Congratulations, TanDEM-X – 10 years of 3D mapping from space
25 June 2020
A new era in radar remote sensing began 10 years ago, on 21 June 2010, when the radar satellite TanDEM-X was launched. Since then, it has been orbiting Earth in close formation flight with TerraSAR-X, its three-year-older 'twin'. The distance between the satellites varies between several kilometres and sometimes only 120 metres. This enables the radar sensors to obtain a 3D view of Earth. This is referred to as a bistatic interferometer in space, which allows the terrain structure to be recorded in three dimensions in just one pass. This space mission continues to be globally unique.
DLR manufactures medical auxiliary equipment for Fürstenfeldbruck Hospital
09 June 2020
Since the beginning of the corona crisis, the 3D printers of the German Aerospace Center (DLR) have been doing their work outside of aerospace research. The specialists from the Systemhaus Technik successfully converted the systems and were thus able to deliver the first auxiliary medical equipment. Among others, the Microwaves and Radar Institute at the Oberpfaffenhofen site was also involved in this project (IN GERMAN).
50 Years "Earth Day" - Satellites observe dramatic changes on Earth
21 April 2020
IN GERMAN: Millionen Menschen gingen am 22. April 1970 - heute vor 50 Jahren - in den USA auf die Straßen, um gegen Ölpest, Umweltverschmutzung, Walfang und Giftmüll zu demonstrieren - und sie begründeten damit eine Initiative, die schon bald den gesamten Globus erfassen sollte: Die Umweltbewegung, an die der heutige "Earth-Day" erinnert, hat unsere Zivilisation geprägt - vielfach mit wesentlichen Erkenntnissen aus dem Weltraum. In Corona-Zeiten lautet auch hier die Devise #EarthDayAtHome - unter diesem Hashtag sind beispielhaft Aktionen und Informationen zusammengestellt, die wir von zu Hause aus tun können, um unser Bewusstsein für die Verletzlichkeit und Einzigartigkeit unseres blauen Planeten zu schärfen. Deutschland ist seit dem Start des ersten deutschen Forschungssatelliten AZUR im November 1969 zu einem der weltweit wichtigsten Partner für die friedliche Erforschung der Erde aus dem All geworden. Das Deutsche Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR) spielte und spielt hier eine Schlüsselrolle mit eigenen Missionen wie dem deutschen Radarsatelliten-Zwillingspaar TerraSAR-X und TanDEM-X und ab 2021 der EnMAP-Mission sowie den deutschen Beiträgen an ESA-Erdbeobachtungssatelliten wie dem ersten europäischen Wettersatelliten Meteosat in den 1970-er Jahren, gefolgt von ERS und Envisat bis hin zum aktuellen europäischen Satellitennetzwerk des Copernicus-Programmes.
Earth observation using radar interferometry: Development of the Patagonian Ice Fields reveals the enormous complexity of physical interactions
10 December 2019
The glaciers and ice fields in the South American region of Patagonia have been in retreat since the Little Ice Age between the early 14th century and the mid-19th century. In recent decades, the loss of ice masses associated with tropospheric warming has accelerated. From 2000 to 2016 the Patagonian Ice Fields contributed approximately six percent to the eustatic sea level rise of 0.74 millimetres per year.
Brazil delegation visits DLR
04 December 2019
IN GERMAN: Brasilien und Deutschland blicken auf eine seit fast fünf Jahrzehnten bestehende erfolgreiche Zusammenarbeit zurück. Die Schwerpunkte der wissenschaftlich-technologischen Zusammenarbeit (WTZ) sind seit 1969 Aktivitäten in den Bereichen Raumfahrt und Aeronautik, begleitet von Projekten in Werkstofftechnologie sowie Energie- und Verkehrstechnik.
U.N. Climate Change Conference – DLR presents Tandem-L Satellite Mission
03 Dezember 2019
IN GERMAN: Die diesjährige Weltklimakonferenz (COP25) der Vereinten Nationen findet vom 2. bis 13. Dezember 2019 in Madrid statt. Im Rahmen des „Earth Information Day 2019“ stellte das Deutsche Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR) am zweiten Tag des Klimagipfels Tandem-L vor, den Vorschlag für eine neuartige Satellitenmission zum Monitoring der Erde. Mithilfe von Tandem-L könnten zukünftig die Auswirkungen des Klimawandels überwacht werden und gleichzeitig die Wirksamkeit politischer Maßnahmen zur Eindämmung des Klimawandels kontrolliert werden. Insgesamt zwei Radarsatelliten sollen die Veränderungen der Erde im Wochenrhythmus erfassen – in hoher Auflösung und unabhängig von Wetter oder Tageszeit.
10 Years Microwave Research in "TechLab"
IN GERMAN: Die Forschungsarbeit des Instituts für Hochfrequenztechnik und Radarsysteme im Deutschen Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR) blickt auf jahrzehntelange Erfahrungen zurück. Am Standort Oberpfaffenhofen wurden bereits in den 1930er Jahren die Eigenschaften von Antennen und deren Funktionsweise untersucht. Seit dieser Zeit werden Messverfahren und Techniken stetig weiterentwickelt. Im Jahr 2009 wurde mit dem Bau des "TechLab" ein hochmodernes Forschungsumfeld erschaffen, das bis heute auch zukünftigen Ansprüchen der Forschung gerecht wird. Das Institut erweiterte damit seine einzigartige Infrastruktur für die Entwicklung innovativer Erdbeobachtungsmissionen wie aktuell der Vorschlag für die Radarsatellitenmission Tandem-L.
German radar satellites provide precious environmental data
24 October 2019
IN GERMAN: Es ist heute kein Geheimnis mehr, dass sich unsere Umwelt seit Beginn der Industrialisierung rasanter verändert als zuvor. Die deutschen Satellitenmissionen TerraSAR-X und TanDEM-X liefern seit 2007 und 2010 einzigartige Erdbeobachtungsdaten, aus denen reichhaltige Erkenntnisse über unsere Umwelt gewonnen werden können. Wissenschaftliche Nutzer aus der ganzen Welt sind am Deutschen Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR) in Oberpfaffenhofen zusammengekommen, um im Rahmen des „TerraSAR-X und TanDEM-X Science Meetings“ die aus den Daten gewonnenen Ergebnisse auszutauschen und Anforderungen an künftige Fernerkundungstechnologien zu formulieren. In mehr als 100 Präsentationen offenbart sich vom 21. bis 24. Oktober 2019 der neueste Stand der Forschung. Begleitend dazu stellt der TanDEM-X-Blog Vorträge aus dem „Science Meeting“ vor und skizziert, in welcher Weise die Daten der zwei Radarmissionen Forscher weltweit unterstützen.
25th Anniversary of the Space Shuttle Missions SIR-C/X-SAR
07 October 2019
Earth observers like to 'look' at the Earth with radar sensor systems. They allow high-precision images of the surface and have a great advantage over optical cameras: images can be taken not only in excellent visibility, but also in cloudy conditions, rain or at night. Research into space-based radar technologies has a long history. A milestone was the multi-frequency radar system SIR-C/X-SAR. 25 years ago, the Space Shuttle Endeavour flew around the world twice, in April and October 1994. It was the most advanced civil radar in Earth orbit at that time – and for Earth observation it was as big a step as the transition from black-and-white to colour film in photography.
TanDEM-X Science Team Meeting (October 21 - 24, 2019): Preliminary Program now available
25 September 2019
The TerraSAR-X / TanDEM-X Science Meeting approaches. It takes place at DLR Oberpfaffenhofen. Please register until
Oktober 11, 2019
. A preliminary program is now available:
TanDEM-X Earth observation mission: Tidal glaciers in Greenland – TanDEM-X elevation models show strongest decline in 80 years
13 September 2019
The Kangerlussuaq Glacier is the largest glacier on the southeast coast of Greenland and flows into the fjord of the same name. The glacier front, which in the past was protected by an ice mélange – a mixture of sea ice and calved icebergs – is retreating at an increasing rate. The glacier calves approximately 24 cubic kilometres of ice into the ocean every year. This corresponds to about five percent of the amount of ice lost annually by the entire Greenland ice sheet. Using a time series of 150 TanDEM-X elevation models of the Kangerlugssuaq Glacier, scientists from Swansea University in the United Kingdom have measured the decrease in the glacier’s surface height.
South America: TanDEM-X reveals glaciers in detail
12 June 2019
A precise understanding of glacier evolution requires knowledge of a glacier's exact mass. This is important in South America, in the tropical regions between Bolivia and Venezuela, where meltwater from glaciers provides drinking water during the dry season. However, basic data about mass changes in glaciers are not easy to obtain. Mass losses are also contributing to rising sea levels on a global scale. As a new analysis method using TanDEM-X data shows, this is particularly true for Patagonia.
TERRA_Byte – Top computing power for researching global change
27 May 2019
One of Europe's largest supercomputing centres – the Leibniz Computer Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences – and Europe's largest space research institution – the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) – will work together to evaluate the vast quantities of data acquired by Earth observation satellites alongside other global data sources, such as social networks, on the state of our planet on a daily basis.
Global TanDEM-X forest map is available
06 May 2019
Forests are Earth's lungs; they help to reduce greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere and thus counteract global warming, while also providing protection and resources for humans, animals and plants – and they are being lost at an alarming rate. As the view from space reveals, forests cover about one third of Earth’s landmass today. More than half of the world’s forests, which have fallen victim to deforestation since the middle of the 20th century in particular, have already been lost. The German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR), Microwaves and Radar Institute (HR) has created a special dataset to monitor, assess, and protect the current state and development of this green organ with precision – the global TanDEM-X Forest/Non-Forest Map.
Waves on ice - "Radar Eye" TanDEM-X monitors trucks on ice roads
13 March 2019
IN GERMAN: Eine Studie vom Canada Centre for Mapping and Earth Observation untersuchte den Nutzen von TanDEM-X für die Unterstützung des Eisstraßenmanagements mit Fokus auf den nordwestlichen Territorien Kanadas. Dabei entstand aus zwei TanDEM-X-Datensätzen eine Abbildung, auf der wellenförmige Hebungen und Senkungen einer Eisdecke zu erkennen sind. Ursache sind die Ice Road Trucks, die in den Wintermonaten über die gefrorenen Seen in Kanada transportieren.
Glacier shrinkage in Antarctica: Better Predictions thanks to innovative radar technologies
01 February 2019
IN GERMAN: Der Thwaites Gletscher gehört zu den fragilsten Gletschern der Westantarktis und schmilzt mit zunehmender Geschwindigkeit unaufhaltsam in die Amundsen See. Bislang ist er für rund vier Prozent des globalen Meeresspiegelanstiegs verantwortlich und kann mit seinen verbleibenden Eismassen die Ozeane künftig um mehr als 65 Zentimeter steigen lassen. Mithilfe der deutschen Radarsatelliten TerraSAR-X und TanDEM-X ist es erstmals möglich, den Thwaites Gletscher und andere Polgebiete flächendeckend mit hoher Auflösung dreidimensional zu vermessen und regelmäßig zu beobachten.
Season´s Greetings and wishes from TanDEM-X!
23 December 2018
All people living in the world today are descended from Africans who left the continent at least 100,000 years ago. Those who stayed behind continued to innovate and develop their knowledge and ideas. The TanDEM-X image above shows the topography of Cape Town and its surroundings.
, a well-known landmark of the city, is seen just south of the harbor area. The Cape Town region is characterized by an extensive coastline, rugged mountain ranges, coastal plains, inland valleys and semi-desert fringes. TanDEM-X was launched in 2010 and has been operating together with its twin TerraSAR-X as a bistatic SAR interferometer since the beginning of 2011. The global digital elevation model of TanDEM-X became available in 2016 and surpassed all expectations. It has 99.9% coverage, 12-m posting, absolute height accuracy of approximately 1 m. This unique data set has been available since then for commercial and scientific applications. This year, the low-resolution version of the TanDEM-X digital elevation model with 90-m posting has been released for free download for scientific applications. 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 2019!
Claudia Roth, Member of the Bundestag, visits HR Institute
20 December 2018
Climate research and remote sensing have been the topics when Claudia Roth, Member of the Bundestag, the German parliament, came to the German Aerospace Center (DLR) on 20 December 2018. One of five stations in DLR was a short visit at our Institute. Amongst other things, she also informed herself about TanDEM-X and the anticipated Tandem-L SAR satellite mission, initiated by the HR Institute. Tandem-L will provide, in weekly rhythm, latest data to dynamically running processes on the Earth surface (ARTICLE IN GERMAN).
Global 3D elevation model from the TanDEM-X mission now freely available
08 October 2018
The 90-metre TanDEM-X Digital Elevation Model has been released for scientific use and is now available as a global dataset. By providing this data, the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) follows the EU data policy under the Copernicus Earth observation programme, which encourages free and open access to satellite data.
Thawing permafrost with radar eyes
14 September 2018
IN GERMAN: Wissenschaftler des Instituts für Hochfrequenztechnik und Radarsysteme des Deutschen Zentrums für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR) entwickeln spezielle Radartechnologien und Analyseverfahren, die eine hochgenaue Beobachtung von Permafrost ermöglichen. Permafrost prägt seit Jahrtausenden den Untergrund der arktischen und subarktischen Breiten und reicht von wenigen Metern bis mehr als einen Kilometer tief ins Erdinnere.
Tandem-L at the space science congress COSPAR
24 July 2018
IN GERMAN: Der weltgrößte Weltraumforschungskongress des Committee on Space Research (COSPAR) fand vom 14. bis 22. Juli 2018 in Pasadena, Kalifornien, statt. Auf dem Kongress tauschten sich mehr als 3.000 Wissenschaftler aus aller Welt über neueste Erkenntnisse der Weltraumforschung aus. Auch Tandem-L wurde in einer begleitenden Ausstellung vorgestellt.
1.000 Kilometers on the ice shelf - withTerraSAR-X
23. Mai 2018
IN GERMAN: Das größte Sicherheitsrisiko beim Überqueren des Schelfeises ist die Spaltenbildung. So können unter der Schneedecke Gletscherspalten verborgen sein, die bis zum Meeresniveau hinab reichen."Ohne die Daten von TerraSAR-X wäre es so, als ob wir uns blind auf einem Minenfeld bewegen."
DLR at ILA Berlin 2018: The satellite mission
with large deployable reflector antennas in formation flight
23 April 2018
The German Aerospace Center (DLR) will present its latest projects and research results at the ILA Berlin Air Show from 25 to 29 April 2018. Again one of the largest institutional exhibitors in 2018, DLR will provide fascinating insights into its current research. DLR will also showcase its research in the fields of Earth observation, suborbital hypersonic transport and space exploration at its stand in Hall 4. The innovative
concept for global, radar-based environmental and climate monitoring will be presented to visitors.
DLR at ILA-2018 Berlin
Interview Manfred Zink
HR Institute now certificated according to "ISO9001:2015"
17 April 2018
- Our Institute successfully renewed its certification according to the quality management standard ISO9001. In course of the recertification process, HR updated its quality management system to the new revision of the ISO9001:2015. The external auditor confirmed that the quality management system of HR is in line with the new revision of the standard and recommend the granting of the new certificate. We would like to thank all colleagues who contributed to this success.
PAZ Earth observation satellite successfully launched
22 February 2018
The Spanish Earth observation satellite PAZ was successfully launched on 22 February 2018 at 15:17 CET from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, United States, on board a Falcon 9 rocket. Interestingly, PAZ is being positioned on the same orbit as the German TerraSAR-X and TanDEM-X radar satellites. Launch video:
The German Aerospace Center (DLR) in 2018
01 February 2018
IN GERMAN: Der globale Wandel und der Klimawandel stellen große Herausforderungen an unsere Gesellschaft. Die Raumfahrtforschung des DLR unterstützt die kontinuierliche und weltweite Beobachtung der Atmosphäre und der Erde aus dem Weltraum. Große Erwartungen haben wir für das Projekt TanDEM-L. Zwei Radar-Erdbeobachtungssatelliten werden die Landmasse der Erde in drei Dimensionen alle acht Tage abbilden. Das DLR forscht und entwickelt auch im Bereich der schnellen optischen Kommunikation über Satelliten sowie zur kryptographischen Sicherung mit Hilfe von Quantentechnologien.
Helmholtz-Alliance: Future prospects Tandem-L
24 November 2017
IN GERMAN: Die globalen Herausforderungen unserer Zeit reichen von Klimawandel und Umweltzerstörung – über Ressourcenknappheit und Bevölkerungswachstum – bis hin zu abnehmender Biodiversität. Probleme, für die auch in Deutschland dringend Lösungen gefunden werden müssen. Einen wissenschaftlichen Beitrag leistet dazu die Helmholtz-Allianz "Fernerkundung und Dynamik des Erdsystems" (EDA), das vom Deutschen Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR) federgeführt wird. Ziel der Forschungsallianz ist es, mit Hilfe von neuartigen Satellitenprodukten akkurate Prognosen zum Klimawandel und anderen Umweltprozessen aufzustellen.
DLR provides satellite data for Hurricane Harvey
30 August 2017
In anticipation of the catastrophic hurricane Harvey, the International Charter 'Space and Major Disasters' was activated early on the evening of 24 August 2017. This was initiated by the Charter member United States Geological Survey (USGS) on behalf of the Texas Emergency Management Council. The German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) provided real-time recordings and archive data from the German radar satellite TerraSAR-X, which enabled a detailed analysis and an overview of the flood situation.
Planet Earth in high-precision and in 3-D: State Secretary Matthias Machnig appreciates TerraSAR-X success
05 August 2017
IN GERMAN: 10 Jahre TerraSAR-X: Staatssekretär Matthias Machnig würdigt wissenschaftlichen und industriepolitischen Erfolg der weltweit einzigartigen Erdbeobachtungsmission. Deutschland ist mit TerraSAR-X und seinem Zwillingssatelliten TanDEM-X international führend in der radargestützten Fernerkundung.
DLR BLOG: TerraSAR-X monitors the "Larsen C" ice shelf break-apart
25 July 2017
IN GERMAN: Wir haben in den letzten Tagen viel in den Medien über den riesigen Eisberg lesen können, der sich am Larsen-C-Schelfeis an der Antarktischen Halbinsel gelöst hat. Dass Eisbergabbrüche von Eisschelfen natürliche Vorkommnisse sind und diese in der Antarktis immer wieder vorkommen, wurde in den Medienberichten richtig dargestellt. Und doch war dieses Ereignis präsenter als die bisherigen. Woran liegt das? Vermutlich daran, dass wir Wissenschaftler seit Monaten mithilfe von Satellitendaten dieses Gebiet der Antarktis verstärkt beobachten und regelrecht darauf gewartet haben, dass es endlich passiert. Außerdem ist diesmal doch ein verhältnismäßig großes Stück Eis abgebrochen, ungefähr sieben Mal so groß wie die Stadt Berlin.
DLR supplies precision transponders to the Canadian Space Agency
19 July 2017
The calibration of radar satellites is a key research area at the German Aerospace Center. "In the last few years, we have earned the undisputed status of an international calibration centre for radar satellites," says Alberto Moreira, Director of the DLR Microwaves and Radar Institute. The supply of transponders to the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) is the latest highlight in this success story.
Excellence in space – 10 years of TerraSAR-X
14 June 2017
Designed to return unique images of the Earth for five years, the German radar satellite TerraSAR-X has outdone itself. The satellite has been in operation for twice that time – and there is still no end in sight to its service.
DLRmagazin 154 - On the pulse of time
24 May 2017
IN GERMAN: Wie bewegen sich Berge? Wie entwickeln sich Wetter und Wasserverfügbarkeit? - Die Erdbeobachtung mit Radarsatelliten kann auf solche und viele andere Fragen Antworten geben Mit Tandem-L hat das DLR eine Mission für ein hochgenaues und dreidimensionales Abbild unserer sich wandelnden Erde konzipiert. Das Juni-Magazin beleuchtet das Zukunftsprojekt (Image: Traunstein, Bavaria, F-SAR, L-Band fully polarimetric)..
Support from space: Navigation through sea ice via radar satellites
27 April 2017
IN GERMAN: DLR unterstützt die Navigation in den eisbedeckten Gewässern durch Aufnahmen der Radarsatelliten TerraSAR-X und Sentinel-1. Erstmals wurden nun neben Radarbildern auch aus Satellitendaten generierte Eiskarten an Bord geschickt – Karten, die Rückschlüsse auf die Dicke und die Befahrbarkeit des Eises erlauben.
Book published: A.V. Osipov and S.A. Tretyakov "Modern Electromagnetic Scattering Theory with Applications" (2017)
06 March 2017
The book of our colleague Andrey Osipov has now been published: A.V. Osipov and S.A. Tretyakov "Modern Electromagnetic Scattering Theory with Applications" John Wiley & Sons, 824 p. ISBN 978-0-470-51238-8. Abstract: "The book gives fundamental knowledge about scattering and diffraction of electromagnetic waves and fills the gap between general electromagnetic theory courses and collections of engineering formulas. This self-contained book is a tutorial for advanced students learning the mathematics and physics of electromagnetic scattering and curious to know how engineering concepts and techniques relate to the foundations of electromagnetics."
"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.
TerraSAR-X image of the month: Urban sprawl around Istanbul
17 May 2011
Nobody knows exactly how many people live in Istanbul, but there are thought to be about 15 million inhabitants of this city on two continents. Images from the German Aerospace Center (DLR) TerraSAR-X radar satellite are giving urban planners a more accurate view of something slightly different – how much the city on the Bosphorus has spread out recently.
Where and how does ice move in the ocean?
25 March 2011
TanDEM-X has now begun routine operations, and is working with TerraSAR-X in bistatic mode and recording data for its global digital terrain model. In this post, I look back at an earlier phase of the mission, when this satellite pair orbited the Earth separated by a mere three seconds or 20 kilometres, and each sensor acquired images independently.
TerraSAR-X satellite data show tsunami destructions in Japan
17 March 2011
The German Remote Sensing Data Center (Deutsches Fernerkundungsdatenzentrum; DFD) and the German Space Operations Center (GSOC), both of which are part of the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR), are continuing to provide as much data as possible from the two German radar satellites, TerraSAR-X and TanDEM-X, for the assessment of damage caused by the recent tsunami in Japan. Radar data, in contrast to data from optical satellites, can be acquired independently of cloud cover or time of day and allow precise identification of the flooded and destroyed areas on the east coast of Japan.
3rd TanDEM-X Science Team Meeting: All presentations are now available here
22 February 2011
The 3rd TanDEM-X Science Team Meeting took place on 17-18 February 2011 at DLR Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany. You may now download
here. See "Read more".
TerraSAR-X-image of the month: Calving icebergs on Queen Maud Land
08 February 2011
If the city of Bonn were located on the edge of the Fimbul Ice Shelf, in the Antarctic, its inhabitants would now be embarking on a journey through the Antarctic Circumpolar Current. An iceberg with a surface area of 120 square kilometres – the size of Bonn – has calved in the Atlantic. Glaciologists at Hamburg University's Climate Campus have been using the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) radar satellite, TerraSAR-X, to observe the area from an altitude of 500 kilometres and gain a better understanding of how icebergs like this will calve in the future.
3rd TanDEM-X Science Team Meeting: Agenda and Online Registration now available
08 February 2011
The 3rd TanDEM-X Science Team Meeting takes place on
17-18 February 2011
at DLR Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany.
are now available: See "Read more".
Traffic monitoring with the TerraSAR-X/TanDEM-X satellite constellation
28 January 2011
Traffic monitoring from space, day and night, from more than 500 kilometres up above; is that possible? Indeed it is! In fact, it has been demonstrated several times in the past – once with the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM), and again with TerraSAR-X. The traffic processors used with SRTM and TerraSAR-X were and are still subject to considerable limitations.
TerraSAR-X image of the month: Ice flow like molten metal
23 December 2010
From over 500 kilometres up, as TerraSAR-X looks down on its icy surface, the Antarctic's Nimrod Glacier looks like molten metal. During its flight over the Antarctic, the German Aerospace Centre's (DLR) radar satellite is one of the few that can direct its view over this glacier in the Transantarctic Mountains. Researchers can use these images from space to determine the flow speed of the glacier.
TanDEM-X ready for routine operations in 2011
15 December 2010
TanDEM-X has passed another important milestone: the radar mission's test phase has concluded in less than six months according to plan, paving the way for routine operations - the collection of elevation data - in 2011.
First photographs of the TerraSAR-X - TanDEM-X formation in orbit
15 Dezember 2010
The dutch archaeologist and satellite tracker Dr. Marco Langbroek managed to image the two German radar satellites TerraSAR-X and TanDEM-X from ground during their formation flight in orbit with a camera. One satellite is flying in front (TerraSAR-X) while the other is following (TanDEM-X). TerraSAR-X appears slightly brighter than TanDEM-X.
DLR Compact Test Range - Antenna Measurements for Tomorrow
13 December 2010
IN GERMAN ONLY: Ein stählernes Flügeltor öffnet sich - und zum Vorschein kommt eine der modernsten wissenschaftlichen Antennen-Messanlagen Europas. Die Compact Test Range wird seit Februar 2010 vom Institut für Hochfrequenztechnik und Radarsysteme des Deutschen Zentrums für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR) in Oberpfaffenhofen betrieben.
3rd TanDEM-X Science Team Meeting
02 December 2010
The 3rd TanDEM-X Science Team Meeting takes place on
17-18 February 2011
at DLR Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany. Also note that the 4th TerraSAR-X Science Team Meeting takes place on 14-16 February 2011 at DLR Oberpfaffenhofen. Click here for being routed to the TanDEM-X Science Service System for
Federal government approves new German space strategy
30 November 2010
The German Federal Government adopted a new space strategy at its cabinet meeting on 30 November 2010. The paper defines the fundamentals of how the high-technology space sector is to develop over the next few years at a national level and in so doing, how it must respond to changing political and societal conditions on the domestic as well as international stages. This strategy is being introduced by the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology (Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Technologie; BMWi). The strategy paper was drafted jointly with the other federal ministries involved in space activities, and in consultation with scientific and business establishments such as the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR).
TerraSAR-X image of the month: Forest imaging in Gabon for the United Nations
30 November 2010
In Gabon, West Africa, the forest cover spans 210,000 square kilometres, or 70 percent of the total land area. It is hard for field researchers to get an overview of the situation and the frequent cloud cover in the tropics hinders observations from the air. Researchers at the Friedrich Schiller University of Jena are studying images acquired by ther German Aerospace Center's (DLR) TerraSAR-X radar satellite, as part of their contribution to the United Nations' Global Forest Resources Assessment. The satellite's radar imaging is unaffected by cloud cover or the time of day.
TanDEM-X - Recent DEMs for Crisis Management: Vulcano Merapi, Indonesia
22 November 2010
ONLY AVAILABLE IN GERMAN: Thomas Fritz, zuständig für die Prozessierung der TanDEM-X-Daten, zeigt im Blog aktuelle Aufnahmen des Vulkans Merapi: "Als wir vor einigen Wochen die allerersten bistatischen DEM-Aufnahmen mit der TanDEM-X-Formation aufnahmen, war auch der Vulkan Merapi eines der ersten Ziele. Natürlich ahnten wir nicht, dass er kurze Zeit später ausbrechen und diese DEM-Aufnahme bereits zur Unterstützung des Krisen-Managements dienen würde. Mittlerweile gibt es weitere Aufnahmen des Merapi, an denen man den Nutzen der hochaufgelösten und genauen TanDEM-X-DEMs für solchen Krisenfälle erkennen kann."
TerraSAR-X-Image of the month: The eye of typhoon "Megi"
28 October 2010
The German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) radar satellite TerraSAR-X looked right into the eye of Typhoon Megi while it was in the middle of the South China Sea. The image, acquired on 21 October 2010, shows the tropical cyclone on its way to Taiwan after raging through the Philippines. Megi is one of the fiercest typhoons this region has seen in recent years.
TanDEM-X-Mission Blog: Baptism of fire for the satellite formation
20 October 2010
Last Thursday, the two German radar satellites of the TanDEM-X formation finally reached their operational orbit configuration, with only a few hundred metres separating them. In this configuration, they act as a unique radar interferometer in space. The next day, on Friday evening, the instruments were switched on, after many careful checks, to acquire the world's first Digital Elevation Model (DEM) data using a free-flying bistatic Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) satellite formation. That same night, the jointly acquired data were received and processed by our operational processing chain.
DLR becomes a member of the International Charter 'Space and Major Disasters'
19 October 2010
The German Aerospace Center (DLR) has become a member of the International Charter 'Space and Major Disasters'. At an event in Paris to celebrate the tenth anniversary of its founding, Johann-Dietrich Wörner, Chairman of the DLR Executive Board, signed the charter, marking DLR's accession.
TanDEM-X and TerraSAR-X – imaging Etna while flying in formation
19 October 2010
The TanDEM-X and TerraSAR-X satellite pair have acquired their first image of Earth’s surface, synchronised to the microsecond, while flying over Mount Etna in Italy. Scientists at the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) have used the data to create a three-dimensional digital elevation model with an unprecedented elevation accuracy down to two metres. The image, taken while the satellites were flying just 350 metres apart, is the first in the world to be made by satellites flying in such a close formation.
TerraSAR-X and TanDEM-X flying in close formation
15 October 2010
The German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) and the space company Astrium have recently taken an important step forward in their mission to create a three-dimensional map of the world. On 14 October 2010, the radar satellite TanDEM-X moved into close formation with its 'twin', TerraSAR-X.
TanDEM-X Blog: Initial reports of success from the control room
13 October 2010
We are off again; the team at the German Space Operation Center (GSOC) and their colleagues from EADS Astrium gathered two days ago in the control room to manage the transition to close formation flight. We began the first manoeuvre on Monday, 11 October 2010; this is referred to as the ‘drift start’ manoeuvre, which gives the TanDEM X satellite (TDX) the necessary momentum to close to a distance of one kilometre behind TerraSAR X (TSX) within a few days.
In the Field - For a Precise View from Space
13 October 2010
Colleagues of the German Aerospace Center (DLR) prove TanDEM-X with employed mobile and fix installed transponders and reflectors - for a precise view of TanDEM-X down to the earth surface. With the measured results the complete TanDEM-X system is calibrated (ARTICLE ONLY AVAILABLE IN GERMAN).
"Everybody waltz!" – TerraSAR X and TanDEM X - Close formation flight has begun
12 October 2010
"Everybody waltz!" – this is the invitation to dance at the annual Vienna Opera Ball. This phrase is now applicable to the TerraSAR X and TanDEM X satellites, because as of yesterday the 'dance floor' is open and close formation flight has begun. Upon successful completion of the final tests, permission to commence the now imminent mission phase was granted by a panel of experts at the conclusion of the Formation Flight Reviews.
A connection with antennas - TanDEM-X project leader Manfred Zink
11 October 2010
Manfred Zink likes to organise things. For the TanDEM-X radar satellite mission he is organising when and where the antennas of the satellites are to point, in order to acquire the best three-dimensional images possible of our planet. Manfred Zink is Project Manager for the Ground Segment of the mission at the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) in Oberpfaffenhofen. He is responsible for directing the entire mission, from the close flight formation of the TerraSAR-X and TanDEM-X satellites to the creation of the digital elevation model. This is the thirteenth of our series of portraits on the DLR web portal.
TerraSAR-X and TanDEM-X "chat" for the first time
27 August 2010
Simply synchronization data are exchanged between the two satellites - but this was enough to acquire a first simultaneous data set of TerraSAR-X and TanDEM-X. Herewith, we accomplished a worldwide first experiment of acquiring images in a bistatic radar mode of two in formation flying radar satellites. (Article in German)
TanDEM-X Blog: The face of the Earth
20 August 2010
For a month now, we have been acquiring altitude models with the TanDEM-X and TerraSAR-X satellite pair. Already, over 1000 products have come out of our operational processing chain. Alongside many test images, some of the data also give an insight into how humankind has shaped the surface of the Earth – and how the highs and lows around them have determined the course of their lives.
TanDEM-X: Inauguration of the first DLR ground station in Canada
10 August 2010
On 10 August 2010, the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) inaugurated its first satellite data receiving station in Inuvik, Canada. DLR will use the new ground station particularly to receive data for the German TanDEM-X satellite mission. Using the large, 13-metre antenna, partner countries Germany and Canada as well as scientists from around the world and other external users will be able to access important satellite data, process and evaluate them. The development of new technologies for Earth observation is an important joint objective.
TanDEM-X helps mapping Pakistan floodings
06 August 2010
Satellite data is an indispensable tool for quickly assessment of the situation in cases of natural or environmental disasters and for guiding emergency teams on ground. DLR's 'Center for Satellite Based Crisis Information' (Zentrum für satellitengestützte Kriseninformation; ZKI) and many other international organizations have been using the German radar satellite TerraSAR-X for three years to rapidly obtain reliable data in all weather conditions for such crisis situations. Now, our new satellite, TanDEM-X, has also provided assistance for the first time in a crisis – gathering information on the flood catastrophe in Pakistan. We were able to help not only with radar images but we also used TanDEM-X for interferometry in formation with TerraSAR-X for the first time. This has provided a more reliable technique to map floods instantaneously and more accurately, in one pass and without the need for archived data.
TerraSAR-X image of the month: Tracking the catastrophic oil spill
03 August 2010
If an oil spill wasn't responsible for the formations in these TerraSAR-X images, they might seem like the work of an artist. The images were acquired over the Gulf of Mexico on 9 July 2010. For researchers, such imagery is key in forecasting the distribution of the oil slick. TerraSAR-X mapped the oil-polluted area in the Gulf of Mexico in a series of images acquired on 9 July 2010. The environmental catastrophe started on 20 April 2010 when an explosion sank the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig and the shut-off valves on the wellhead could not be closed.
The Data's Third Dimension
22 July 2010
- ONLY AVAILABLE IN GERMAN - Noch sind die beiden Satelliten nicht ganz in ihrer gemeinsamen Formation, da werden schon trickreiche Instrumentkommandierungen und Prozessoreinstellungen genutzt, um die allerersten Höhendaten mit den beiden Satelliten zu erzeugen. Damit begann an diesem Wochenende die interferomerische Phase der TanDEM-X-Mission. Wir sehen mit Begeisterung wie unser Prozessor zum ersten Mal die Erde in drei Dimensionen entstehen lässt.
TanDEM-X delivers first 3D-Images
22 July 2010
On 22 July 2010, researchers at the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) facility in Oberpfaffenhofen published the first 3D images from the TanDEM-X satellite mission. Just one month after the launch of TanDEM-X (TerrraSAR-X add-on for Digital Elevation Measurement), which took place on 21 June 2010, DLR researchers have created the first digital elevation model – almost a week ahead of schedule. A group of Russian islands in the Arctic Ocean was selected for the first test.
14 July 2010
As ground teams prepared for the formation flight of TanDEM-X and TerraSAR-X, TanDEM-X was put through its paces in the last week before approach. The instrument team ran a set of hot/cold tests to check the instrument’s performance limits by first allowing the radar system to cool down and then running it at full load. This was followed by tests in which a large number of randomly targeted radar images of the Earth’s surface were used to test the reliability of the reception and processing systems. The images acquired during these tests include a number of very puzzling pictures.
TerraSAR-X image of the month: the Nazca lines in Peru
02 July 2010
From the ground, the famous Nazca lines in Peru don’t look like much. It is only when you look at them from a height that the mysterious drawings on the stony desert floor come to life. The German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR), TerraSAR-X radar satellite has seen them from space, providing a new view of this 2000-year-old World Heritage Site.
TanDEM-X's first zoom and wide-angle images
30 June 2010
Now that in addition to control and mission planning, the Kiruna and Neustrelitz ground stations have also taken on important elements of the normal operation of the ground segments as part of commissioning, the various radar modes of the TanDEM-X are undergoing instrument and processing tests. This includes the high definition ‘Spotlight’ zoom mode and the ‘ScanSAR’ wide-angle mode.
TanDEM-X sends its first images in record time
25 June 2010
Already, with its first image acquisitions, TanDEM-X has surpassed its twin satellite, TerraSAR-X. On 24 June 2010, only 3 days and 14 hours into the mission, the satellite sent its first image data back to Earth. The transmission was received by the German Aerospace Center (DLR) ground station at Neustrelitz and processed to produce images. TanDEM-X looked down from an altitude of more than 500 kilometres above northern Madagascar, Ukraine and Moscow.
The Earth in 3D - German radar satellite TanDEM-X launched successfully
21 June 2010
Germany's second Earth observation satellite, TanDEM-X, was launched successfully on 21 June 2010 at 04:14 Central European Summer Time (CEST, 08:14 local time) from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Atop a Russian Dnepr rocket, the satellite, weighing more than 1.3 tons and five metres in length, started its journey into orbit. At 4.45 CEST first signal was received via Troll ground station in the Antarctic.
Early bird special – watch the TanDEM-X launch live
18 June 2010
TanDEM-X, Germany's new Earth observation satellite, is scheduled for launch on Monday, 21 June 2010 at 04:14 CEST. Together with its twin, TerraSAR-X, TanDEM-X will survey all 150 million square kilometres of Earth's land surface several times during its three-year mission. We will stream the TanDEM-X launch live from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, as well as an exclusive infotainment programme from the control centre in Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany.
TanDEM-X: Packed and ready for dispatch
11 June 2010
We did it! The new German radar satellite TanDEM-X is packed and prepared for dispatch – the upper stage of the launcher with its precious contents stands ready. This is the result of impressive team performance. A group picture of all those who have worked towards this goal in recent days will not go amiss here.
TerraSAR-X image of the month, May 2010: Mexico City
21 May 2010
Mexico City is one of the most densely populated cities in the world. Water is in short supply there and increasing amounts of groundwater are being extracted to meet the needs. For the last four months, the German Aerospace Center's (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) radar satellite, TerraSAR-X, has been imaging the city from space. Amongst other things, the images show that even within this imaging period, the ground has sunk by as much as 10 centimetres in some places as a result of the water extraction.
TanDEM-X has arrived in Baikonur
13 May 2010
Germany’s new Earth observation satellite, TanDEM-X, has arrived at the Cosmodrome in Baikonur, Kazakhstan. DLR's Project Manager, Michael Bartusch, accompanied the satellite and is sending updates for the Mission Blog straight from the launch site. The satellite has been unpacked from its transport container and will be powered up today – 14 May. The launch campaign is under way!
TerraSAR-X's 'twin' satellite, TanDEM-X, certified ready for space
29 April 2010
Construction of the German radar satellite TanDEM-X is complete and the satellite has been qualified for space operations during a series of tests conducted in Ottobrunn, near Munich. As with its 'twin' satellite TerraSAR-X , the TanDEM-X project is a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) between the German Aerospace Centre (DLR) and Astrium GmbH.
TerraSAR-X image of the Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajökull: DLR scientists investigate gigantic ash cloud after volcanic eruption
17 April 2010
The Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajökull has ejected large quantities of ash and sulphur dioxide into the atmosphere during its eruptions on 21 March and 15 April. Scientists from the German Aerospace Center (DLR) are evaluating satellite images to investigate the effects of the eruptions on the atmosphere.
TerraSAR-X image of the month, April 2010: Easter Islands – the most isolated island in the world
01 April 2010
Seen from space, Easter Island looks anything but egg-shaped. The German Earth observation satellite TerraSAR-X flew over this small and remote volcanic island, acquiring snapshots that show that man-made structures can be seen easily even from space. This image shows the principle town of Hanga Roa, on the northwestern coast (in yellow), and the airport, in the western part of the island (black line).
TerraSAR-X image of the month, March 2010: The International Space Station (ISS)
04 March 2010
On 13 March 2008, the International Space Station (ISS) passed across the field-of-view of Germany's remote sensing satellite, TerraSAR-X, at a distance of 195 kilometres (122 miles) and at a relative speed of 34,540 kilometres per hour (over 22,000 mph). The encounter lasted for about three seconds, but this brief moment was long enough for the synthetic aperture radar on TerraSAR-X to acquire an image of the ISS, a structure measuring about 110 metres by 100 metres by 30 metres.
Iceberg collides with the edge of an ice shelf in the Antarctic
23 February 2010
Looking like a needle of ice and snow, iceberg B-15K was caught in the act by the German Aerospace Center's (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) TerraSAR-X satellite as it collided with an ice shelf in Atka Bay, Antarctica. Scientists had long been observing as the 54-kilometre long and 5-kilometre wide iceberg was driven around Antarctica by ocean currents. Then, on 11 February 2010, it crashed into the edge of the ice shelf in Atka Bay.
SRTM+10: 'Astro-log' from the past
11 February 2010
Ten years ago, on 11 February 2000, the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) carried out an important 'mission to planet Earth': Space Shuttle Endeavour circled Earth with radar sensors developed in USA, Germany and Italy - capturing almost the entire planet's surface in 3D. On board was German astronaut Gerhard Thiele, who was penning a diary exclusively for the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR). We are marking the tenth anniversary with a video showing the mission highlights, and by republishing Gerhard Thiele's day-by-day record record under the title 'SRTM+10'; the 'astro-log' is available only in German.
TerraSAR-X image of the month, February 2010: TerraSAR-X image of the month: Movements of the Earth's crust in Haiti during the earthquake of 12 January 2010
02 February 2010
The image shows movements in the Earth's crust caused by the earthquake in Haiti on 12 January 2010. The colour scale shows the extent of the displacements, from green for small displacements to deep red for movements of two metres. The red-coloured area was displaced by about 80 centimetres during the earthquake, in the direction of the oblique radar view.
TerraSAR-X image of the month: Thunderstorm off the coast of Panama
11 January 2010
There are isolated weather events that prevent even TerraSAR-X from obtaining a clear view of the surface of Earth. This TerraSAR-X image shows a thunderstorm cell with exceptionally strong rainfall off the Caribbean coast of Panama, visible at the top of the image as a blurred area.
TerraSAR-X image of the month, December 2009: Alpine upland at Christmas time
22 December 2009
This image from the German TerraSAR-X radar satellite shows the alpine upland from the lower reaches of the Inn valley through Rosenheim as far as Wasserburg am Inn. The River Inn, snaking across the image is easy to recognise. The Simssee lake lies in the middle and to the east, part of the Chiemsee lake can be seen. This colour image, taken on Christmas Eve 2008, particularly highlights towns, forests, fields and stretches of water. The snow on the Chiemgau alps and in their valleys shows as black areas.
TerraSAR-X image of the month: Oil disaster off the Australian coast
27 November 2009
On 21 August 2009, the Montara offshore oil platform in the Timor Sea (a large sea bordering the Indian Ocean, to the northeast of Australia) started leaking oil. Over a period of ten weeks, more than two million litres of oil were lost into the sea, forming a 2000 square kilometre slick. The German radar satellite TerraSAR-X followed the growth of the slick as it occurred. The picture shows the platform and the slick spreading out from it, visible as a dark area.
TerraSAR-X image of the month, October 2009: TerraSAR-X image of the month: Ground uplift under Staufen's Old Town
21 October 2009
The image, acquired by the German radar satellite TerraSAR-X, shows part of the southern Rhine Rift Valley near Freiburg and the city of Staufen. Two separate images that were acquired by the satellite six months apart during 2008 were combined to form what is known as an interferogram. In Staufen, a clear pattern of deformation can be seen, caused by an elevation of the substrata.
TerraSAR-X image of the month, September 2009: Munich and its environs
21 September 2009
This image shows the urban region of Munich and the surrounding area. It was acquired on 2 May 2009 at a resolution of 10 metres. The urban area is depicted in shades of red and yellow, while agricultural land appears in shades of green with woodland and forest areas shown in shades of blue. This information can, for example, be used to produce land usage maps, as well as for town planning purposes.
TerraSAR-X image of the month, August 2009: Mangroves, Bakassi Peninsula, Cameroon
19 August 2009
The image, taken by the German radar satellite TerraSAR-X, shows the mangrove-covered islands of the Bakassi peninsula, which are situated at the extreme eastern end of the Gulf of Guinea. Due to the outstanding accuracy of its calibration, TerraSAR-X is able to detect very small changes in the returned signal caused by changes in vegetation or deforestation. By monitoring endangered mangrove forests all over the world, TerraSAR-X can support biodiversity preservation activities.
TerraSAR-X Image of the Month, July 2009: Ship identification in the Kiel Fjord and the Baltic Sea
22 July 2009
This image - from the German TerraSAR-X radar satellite - shows the city of Kiel and the Kiel Fjord, an approximately 17-km long fjord or firth of the Baltic Sea on the northeastern shore of Schleswig-Holstein. The ships that were in this area at the time the image was captured are each marked with a circle. The high resolution of TerraSAR-X images makes them ideally suitable for the rapid identification of ships. The image was taken on 18 June 2009. It was acquired in stripmap mode with a resolution of three metres.
TerraSAR-X Image of the Month, June 2009: The volcano 'Piton de la Fournaise' on the island of La Réunion
26 June 2009
The image, taken by the German radar satellite TerraSAR-X, shows the volcano 'Piton de la Fournaise' (Furnace Peak) in the south of the island of La Réunion (Indian Ocean). This is the last active volcano on the island and is 2631 metres high. By means of very precise repeat-pass interferometric measurements, TerraSAR-X is able to detect even small movements of the Earth's surface, thus supporting volcano monitoring.
The German Earth Observation Satellite TerraSAR-X - Successfully in Operation Since Two Years
15 June 2009
TerraSAR-X, Germany's Earth observation satellite, was launched on 15 June 2007 and has gone on to have a unique and highly successful track record. In contrast to optical systems, the radar technology on this satellite enables it to record images through cloud and at night, meaning that it is able to operate continuously, right around the clock. TerraSAR-X is Germany's first radar satellite and is, at the same time, the first nationally operated remote sensing satellite, brought into being by a Public Private Partnership (PPP) between the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) and Friedrichshafen-based Astrium GmbH. DLR is responsible for planning and carrying out the mission, for controlling the satellite and the radar instrument, and for the scientific use of TerraSAR-X data.
German TanDEM-X radar satellite now complete
9 June 2009
In early 2009, Friedrichshafen-based aerospace company Astrium completed construction of the German radar satellite TanDEM-X. This satellite was created in collaboration with the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR). The satellite, five metres in length and weighing 1.3 tons, has now been transported to Ottobrunn, a town near Munich. In special-purpose test facilities operated by Astrium and IABG (an industrial equipment operating company), the satellite will undergo trials until mid-September 2009 to confirm its suitability for operation in outer space. It will be subjected to extreme temperatures and radiation and, in particular, the loads experienced during launch will be simulated. Once the tests are completed, the satellite will be transported to the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
TerraSAR-X Image of the Month, May 2009: L'Aquila after the 6 April 2009 Earthquake
26 May 2009
The image from the German TerraSAR-X radar satellite shows the area around the Italian town of L'Aquila after the magnitude 6.3 earthquake struck on 6 April 2009. Two images from the satellite were combined for the picture, taken before and after the earthquake, to create an interferogram.
F-SAR Successfully Completed its Fully Polarimetric C-Band Maiden Flight
25 April 2009
After X-band and S-band, F-SAR is now able to acquire fully polarimetric data also in C-band. Its maiden flight in fully polarimetric C-Band was on April 2, 2009. The data show excellent contrast on forest.
TerraSAR-X Image of the Month April 2009: The Wadden Sea in North Frisia
21 April 2009
The image shows the mudflats near the island of Sylt. It was compiled from two satellite images that were taken by the German radar satellite TerraSAR-X in April and May 2008. The individual pictures are coloured red and green respectively. The difference in the reflected radar signals is especially large over the areas of water, as it is here that there were the most changes between when the first picture was taken in April and the second in May. The blue coloured strip has been used to highlight this. The resulting image can be used to extensively study the morphology, sediments and habitats in the Wadden Sea.
TerraSAR-X Image of the Month, March 2009: The Drygalski Glacier in Antarctica
12 March 2009
The animation shows the Drygalski Glacier on the Antarctic Peninsula. This time-lapse video shows how the glacier is pushed out into the area formerly occupied by the Larsen A Ice Sheet at a speed of up to two kilometres per year. Thirty images recorded by the German TerraSAR-X radar satellite between October 2007 and October 2008 were combined to create this video sequence.
E-SAR aquires P-Band Data over Boreal Forest in Northern Sweden
20 October 2008
How best to map ‘boreal’ or northern forest with spaceborne radar is the focus of an ESA campaign currently underway in northern Sweden: BioSAR. The BioSAR 2008 campaign represents the first-ever ESA airborne Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) campaign over northern boreal forest. DLR-HR's E-SAR system acquires P-band data for this purpose. Because of the importance of boreal forests for ESA's BIOMASS mission, and the global carbon cycle in general, highly accurate and robust methods for transforming the P-band radar signals into forest biomass maps are required.
SAR-Lupe, Germany’s First Satellite-Based Reconnaissance System, Now Completed
22 July 2008
This morning, the fifth German reconnaissance satellite of the SAR-Lupe system was launched successfully from the Russian Plesetsk Cosmodrome south of Archangelsk. The Russian Cosmos-3M launch vehicle took off according to schedule at 4.40 Central European Summer Time (CEST) and about half an hour later released the radar satellite into its low Earth orbit, about 500 kilometres from the ground. The first communication between the German Space Operations Center (Deutsches Raumfahrt-Kontrollzentrum) of the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) in Oberpfaffenhofen and the satellite showed that the satellite is functioning faultlessly. DLR has already started to put the satellite into operation.
Press Release EUSAR 2008: SAR-Techniques Conquer New Applications (Readers Edition)
8 June 2008
- Only available in German -
Press Release TerraSAR-X and EUSAR 2008: Seeking Eye in the Orbit (Deutschlandfunk)
4 June 2008
- Only available in German -
A clear view even in the dark and in fog – traffic information via radar satellite
4 March 2008
The German Aerospace Center (DLR) has begun several months of tests into the feasibility of obtaining traffic information via satellite. The German radar satellite TerraSAR-X is going to monitor selected sections of motorway in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and California. The aim of this project is to develop a procedure for large-scale traffic data capture, independent of ground systems, that permits data relay to various traffic information providers.
TerraSAR-X Now Ready for Commercial and Scientific Use
9 January 2008
The German radar satellite TerraSAR-X started its operational phase from January 7, 2008. The German Aerospace Center (DLR) as well as Infoterra GmbH, responsible for commercial use, agreed onto this date after a successful completion of the TerraSAR-X Operational Readiness Review in Dezember 2007.
AGRISAR and EAGLE Campaigns Final Workshop
15 and 16 October 2007
The ESA final workshop to AGRISAR and EAGLE campaigns took place at ESA/ESTEC on 15 and 16 October. Our Institute participated in the campaigns by supplying the airborne SAR data (E-SAR) for crop growth monitoring.
Our presentations: See "More" and "Workshop Programme and Presentations"
Measuring forest biomass from space - ESA campaign tests BIOMASS mission
08 November 2007
DLR HR delivered airborne BIOMASS SAR data set acquired with E-SAR that supports ESA scientists in developing algorithms for BIOMASS estimation.
More Brilliant Radar Satellite Images of TerraSAR-X
9 August 2007
The German radar satellite TerraSAR-X has just been launched (15 June 2007) and yet it provides a variety of brilliant images in different fields of application.
SAR-Lupe - Second Satellite Launch successfull
3 July 2007
- This article is only available in German. -
TerraSAR-X exceeds all expectations: German radar satellite sends first data in record time
21 June 2007
Scientists and commercial users are flabbergasted and only the most optimistic of engineers could have expected it, but just four days after the launch of the German radar satellite TerraSAR-X from Baikonur, brilliant first satellite images have been received. To loud applause on Tuesday evening from the TerraSAR-X teams of the German Aerospace Center (DLR), Astrium and Infoterra, the first pictures appeared on the monitors of the DLR Space Operations Center in Oberpfaffenhofen, near Munich. This occurred just 30 minutes after the receipt of the data by the Neustrelitz ground station.
TerraSAR-X - German radar satellite launch successful
15 June 2007
The successful launch of the German radar satellite TerraSAR-X on Friday 15 June 2007 at 08:14 local time (04:14 CEST) from the Russian Cosmodrome in Baikonur (Kazakhstan) represents the start of a new level of quality in the mapping of Earth. Over the next five years, new and high-quality radar images of our planet's surface will be collected.
IceSAR Campaign Provides Glimpse of Future Sentinel-1 Images Over Sea Ice
20 March 2007
E-SAR simulates images of ESA's future Sentinel-1 satellite.
A DLR Contribution to the International Polar Year - Research on Spitzbergen
20 March 2007
New facts about the formation and properties of land ice and sea ice are expected by the German Aerospace Center (DLR) with the participation in a comprehensive measurement campaign in the framework of the International Polar Year (ARTICLE IN GERMAN).
TerraSAR-X leaves Germany - Last Preparation Phase Starts
23 February 2007
The German Radar Satellite TerraSAR-X leaves Germany on Monday, 26 February 2007 on board an aircfaft Antonov 124 from Friedrichshafen to Space Center Baikonur/Kasachstan (ARTICLE IN GERMAN).
European airborne campaign simulates Sentinel imagery over land
24 July 2006
Designing a new satellite mission is always a challenging prospect. Not only is there the huge technical issue of building a spacecraft, but ensuring the eventual data is exactly what users require is also critical to the success of the mission. To this end, a new airborne campaign is being carried out as part of the development procedure for two of ESA's Sentinel missions.
AGRISAR – Airborne SAR and Optic Campaigns
Simultaneously to the remote sensing data collection ground measurements samples are taken during the four month period. The ground sampling has been divided into a reduced continuously sampling strategy and an intensive sampling strategy taking place at three main weeks.
Japan launches ALOS-Satellite - DLR contributes with measurements and system calibration
Januar 24, 2006
ALOS, an advanced Japanese earth observing satellite, was successfully launched on the 24 th January 2006. At 2:33 MEZ the carrier rocket H-IIA F8 took off from the Tanegashima Space Center and placed the satellite in a 700 km high polar orbit. ALOS (Advanced Land Observing Satellite) is a project of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). Its main purpose is the remote sensing of the earth, particularly land mapping and monitoring of natural hazards. Therefore the satellite carries an L-band radar instrument (PalSAR), a panchromatic stereo camera (PRISM) and the optical "advanced visible and near infrared" radiometer AVNIR-2 (ARTICLE IN GERMAN).
Aquiferex – Airborne Campaign with Optical and Radar in Tunisia
November 7 - 14, 2005
In the period November, 7-14 DLR's Microwaves and Radar Institute (DLR-HR) together with the DLR Flight Department conducted measurement flights in southern Tunisia useful for refined land use classification for purposes of efficient ground water management and for demonstrating the benefits of advanced Earth observation sensors.
ESAR at Svalbard
April 5, 2005 - April 23, 2005
In April 2005 several measurement fights over sea ice and land ice have been conducted from Longyerbyen, Svalbard with the AWI aircraft POLAR2 and the DLR aircraft Do228 with the E-SAR system.
TanDEM-X (TerraSAR-X add-on for Digital Elevation Measurements)
A New High Resolution Interferometric SAR Mission
TanDEM-X has the goal of generating a global Digital Elevation Model (DEM) with an unprecedented accuracy corresponding to the DTED-3 specifications.
INDREX-II - DLR scientists coming back from an airborne radar campaign in Asia
September - October 2004
The objective of the INDREX-II campaign was to build up a SAR database over different tropical forest types with focus on L- and P-band polarimetry and interferometry data (ARTICLE IN GERMAN).
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