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Title: TanDEM-X  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: International Charter on Space and Major Disasters, Ofek-9, Sentinel-2, Sentinel-1, Information Gathering Satellite
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Mission type Radar Imaging
Operator DLR
COSPAR ID 2010-030A
Website Home
Spacecraft properties
Manufacturer EADS Astrium Satellites
Start of mission
Launch date 21 June 2010, 02:14:00 (2010-06-21T02:14Z) UTC
Rocket Dnepr
Launch site Baikonur 109/95
Orbital parameters
Reference system Geocentric
Regime Low Earth

TanDEM-X (TerraSAR-X add-on for Digital Elevation Measurement) is the name of TerraSAR-X's twin satellite, a German Earth observation satellite using SAR (Synthetic Aperture Radar) - a modern radar imaging technology. Implemented in a Public-Private-Partnership between the German Aerospace centre (DLR) and EADS Astrium, it is a second, almost identical spacecraft to TerraSAR-X. TanDEM-X is also the name of the satellite mission flying the two satellites in a closely controlled formation with typical distances between 250 and 500 m.[1] This unique twin satellite constellation will allow the generation of the WorldDEM™, the seamless global digital elevation models available from 2014.


The primary mission objective is the generation of WorldDEM, a consistent global Digital Elevation Model (DEM) with an unprecedented accuracy according to better than DTED Level 2 specifications. WorldDEM resolution will correspond to DTED Level 3 (post spacing of better than 12 meters) and a height accuracy of better than 2m (relative)- a standard not yet defined. Digital Elevation Models of posting better than DTED Level 2 are often called HRTI (High Resolution Terrain Information) DEM.[1]


With an unprecedented accuracy, coverage and quality, WorldDEM is a consistent DEM of the Earth’s entire land surface, acquired and generated within three years after launch. Available from 2014, WorldDEM is to feature a vertical accuracy of 2m (relative) and 4m (absolute), within a horizontal raster of approximately 12x12 square meters, slightly varying depending on the geographic latitude. Infoterra GmbH, a 100% subsidiary of Astrium, holds the exclusive commercial marketing rights for the WorldDEM™ and is responsible for the adaptation of the elevation model to the needs of commercial users worldwide.

First Image 3D

Researchers at the German Aerospace Center facility in Oberpfaffenhofen published the first 3D images from the TanDEM-X satellite mission. A group of Russian islands of the Severnaya Zemlya group in the Arctic Ocean was selected for the first test.[2]

The radar remote sensing satellites TanDEM X and Terra SAR X photographed while flying in close formation (photo by Marco Langbroek, Leiden, the Netherlands). Movement is from lower right to upper left in this 10 second exposure.


  1. ^ a b German Aerospace Center. TanDEM-X - A New High Resolution Interferometric SAR Mission Verified 2010-10-16.
  2. ^ German Aerospace Center. TanDEM-X delivers first 3D images 2010-07-22.

External links

  • TanDEM-X at DLR website.
  • TanDEM-X at Infoterra GmbH website.
  • TanDEM-X Science Home at DLR website
  • TanDEM-X at Astrium website
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