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TanDEM-X: 10 Years of Formation Flying Bistatic SAR Interferometry

Zink, Manfred and Moreira, Alberto and Hajnsek, Irena and Rizzoli, Paola and Bachmann, Markus and Kahle, Ralph and Fritz, Thomas and Huber, Martin and Krieger, Gerhard and Lachaise, Marie and Martone, Michele and Maurer, Edith and Wessel, Birgit (2021) TanDEM-X: 10 Years of Formation Flying Bistatic SAR Interferometry. IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing, 14, pp. 3546-3565. IEEE - Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. doi: 10.1109/JSTARS.2021.3062286. ISSN 1939-1404.

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Official URL: https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/9364685


On June 21, 2010 the still unique TanDEM-X mission was launched and opened a new era in spaceborne radar remote sensing. The first formation flying radar system was built by extending the TerraSAR-X Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) mission by a second, TerraSAR-X-like satellite TanDEM-X. The resulting large single-pass SAR interferometer features flexible baseline selection enabling the acquisition of highly accurate cross-track interferograms not impacted by temporal decorrelation and atmospheric disturbances. The primary objective of the mission was the generation of a global Digital Elevation Model (DEM) with unprecedented accuracy (12 m horizontal resolution and 2 m relative height accuracy). While the main mission phase for DEM data acquisition has been finished in 2014, the processing of the global TanDEM-X DEM was concluded in September 2016. The final DEM is well within specifications and features an extremely low percentage of void areas. Comparisons of the TanDEM-X DEM with SRTM or among multi-temporal TanDEM-X data revealed dramatic changes and the high dynamic in the Earth’s topography especially over ice and forests. It has been therefore decided to acquire data for a global change layer and the so-called change DEM will become available in 2021. Despite being well beyond their design lifetime, both satellites are still fully functional and have enough consumables for several additional years. Therefore, bistatic operations continue with a focus on changes in the cryosphere, biosphere and densely populated urban areas.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/137313/
Document Type:Article
Title:TanDEM-X: 10 Years of Formation Flying Bistatic SAR Interferometry
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iDORCID Put Code
Zink, ManfredUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-4308-5636UNSPECIFIED
Moreira, AlbertoUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-3436-9653UNSPECIFIED
Rizzoli, PaolaUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0001-9118-2732UNSPECIFIED
Bachmann, MarkusUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-6028-4303UNSPECIFIED
Huber, MartinUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0003-2665-2149UNSPECIFIED
Krieger, GerhardUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-4548-0285UNSPECIFIED
Lachaise, MarieUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-1515-7540UNSPECIFIED
Martone, MicheleUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-4601-6599UNSPECIFIED
Wessel, BirgitUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-8673-2485UNSPECIFIED
Date:February 2021
Journal or Publication Title:IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:Yes
Gold Open Access:Yes
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Page Range:pp. 3546-3565
Publisher:IEEE - Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
Keywords:Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR), Interfero-metry, Bistatic SAR, Digital Elevation Model (DEM), Spaceborne SAR, Formation Flight
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:Earth Observation
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R EO - Earth Observation
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - Projekt TanDEM-X (old)
Location: Oberpfaffenhofen
Institutes and Institutions:Microwaves and Radar Institute > Spaceborne SAR Systems
Space Operations and Astronaut Training
Remote Sensing Technology Institute > SAR Signal Processing
German Remote Sensing Data Center > Land Surface Dynamics
Deposited By: Zink, Dr.-Ing. Manfred
Deposited On:12 Nov 2020 10:47
Last Modified:24 May 2022 23:46

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