The Satellite SAR Systems department works on spaceborne SAR systems with a focus on the development, operation and calibration of SAR missions. The department works in close collaboration with the Radar Concepts department and follows and supports their mission concept development in early preparatory project phases. If a mission proposal is approved – usually at the end of phase A or B – the Satellite SAR Systems department takes over the project management and guides and directs the implementation of the mission. The experienced team assumes responsibility for system engineering on mission and ground segment levels, and closely follows the space segment and especially the SAR instrument development.
The department’s vast expertise in SAR systems and spaceborne projects was gained from the experience with three Space Shuttle missions (SIR-C/X-SAR and SRTM), with the TerraSAR-X, TanDEM-X and Tandem-L projects, with ESA’s ENVISAT and Sentinel-1 missions, and from the work on several spaceborne SAR system studies. The team is competent in SAR system engineering, overall SAR system performance analysis, in SAR calibration and algorithm development, mission planning and SAR instrument operations. In the last years, its portfolio has been extended to cover the generation of large-scale information products, such as the global TanDEM-X forest map. The DLR SAR calibration center has been developed and is being operated by the Satellite SAR Systems department.