Free Newsletters - Space News - Defense Alert - Environment Report - Energy Monitor
. 24/7 Space News .




EARTH OBSERVATION
TanDEM-X Observing The Earth In 3D
by Staff Writers
Berlin, Germany (SPX) Jun 09, 2010


Located just a few hundred metres apart, the two German satellites TanDEM-X and the virtually identical TerraSAR-X, which was launched in 2007, will form the first SAR interferometer in space. TanDEM-X is designed for a service life of at least five years and has a planned, overlapping deployment time with TerraSAR-X of at least three years.

The project to "map the Earth in 3D" is now entering its final preparation stage as the German Earth observation satellite TanDEM-X is readied for launch at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. On 21 June, at approximately 04:14:02 CEST, the satellite is due to be launched in to orbit at an altitude of 514 kilometres using a Dnepr launch vehicle.

Having moved into the combined operations phase, the launch service provider Kosmotras has assumed responsibility for the satellite hardware from Europe's leading space company Astrium. TanDEM-X is now being integrated into the space head module.

Surveying the Earth in formation flight
The TanDEM-X (TerraSAR-X add-on for Digital Elevation Measurement) mission demonstrates once again the world-beating German expertise in satellite-based radar technology: the primary mission objective is to record all the Earth's landmasses in 3D, or to be more precise, create a global digital elevation model with unprecedented accuracy.

The latest-generation Earth observation satellite will considerably extend scientific and commercial applications in this field.

Located just a few hundred metres apart, the two German satellites TanDEM-X and the virtually identical TerraSAR-X, which was launched in 2007, will form the first SAR interferometer in space. TanDEM-X is designed for a service life of at least five years and has a planned, overlapping deployment time with TerraSAR-X of at least three years.

Over this period, the satellite duo will survey the Earth's entire land surface - 150 million square kilometres - in formation flight. Elevation information with an absolute precision of better than two metres is achieved for a 12 metre grid.

The specific advantage of satellite-based remote sensing over an aircraft-based solution is that it provides a global, homogeneous terrain model without any discontinuities at country borders or inconsistencies that might arise from different measurement techniques. The use of radar plays a decisive role in this respect since it can be operated independently of weather and lighting conditions.

A wide range of applications
Digital elevation models are fundamental for a wide range of applications: geoscientific disciplines such as hydrology, geology and oceanography call for precise up-to-date information about the properties of the Earth's surface.

Applications range from more efficient mining of the Earth's natural resources to optimised crisis deployment planning in disaster areas and for security missions. Digital maps are also a prerequisite for reliable navigation: their accuracy needs to keep pace with the increasing demands placed on global positioning.

The digital terrain model of the Earth will provide Germany with a unique data product in the near future, which can be used in initiatives and programmes such as ZKI (Centre for Satellite Based Crisis Information of the German Aerospace Centre (DLR)), GMES (Global Monitoring for Environment and Security) and GEOSS (Global Earth Observation System of Systems), as well as in security-related co-operation agreements.

Last but not least, commercial customers around the globe are already impatiently awaiting the TanDEM-X elevation model. As soon as the global TanDEM-X elevation model is available in 2013, remote sensing and geoinformation experts from the private sector, government agencies and defence/security establishments will be able to benefit from it in their day-to-day work.

Data processing at DLR in Oberpfaffenhofen - enrichment by Infoterra
A network of three TanDEM-X ground stations (Kiruna/Sweden, Inuvik/Canada and O'Higgins/Antarctica) is required to handle the immense quantities of raw data being transferred.

The data pass through three main processing stages. First the data segments transmitted by TanDEM-X to the receiver stations are checked, then the results are evaluated in the processing centre of the German Remote Sensing Data Centre (DFD) run by DLR in Oberpfaffenhofen, and the image data are processed into raw elevation models.

In a final step, the Mosaicing and Calibration Processor (MCP) generates the global digital elevation model from the raw elevation models. The related absolute orientation is corrected continent by continent by comparing blocks. The global elevation model dataset will run to 15 terabytes and be available some four years after the launch.

Infoterra GmbH will be solely responsible for customising the elevation model to the needs of commercial users as well as the related global marketing. As part of the data enrichment, Infoterra will process the raw data supplied by the satellite system in accordance with particular customer requirements.

This normally involves removing any remaining spikes (peaks or outliers caused by noise) and offsets (can occur due to radar shadow particularly in mountainous terrain) in the data, and editing the representation of expanses of water (ensuring a uniform water level and the right gradient of river courses).

.


Related Links
EADS Astrium
Earth Observation News - Suppiliers, Technology and Application






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





EARTH OBSERVATION
NASA's TRMM Satellite Provides Rainfall Estimate For Cyclone Phet
Greenbelt MD (SPX) Jun 09, 2010
The Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission satellite, known as TRMM is a "flying rain gauge" in space, and can provide rainfall estimates from its position in orbit around the Earth. Data accumulated from TRMM enabled visualizers to create a map of rainfall generated by Cyclone Phet as it marched through the Arabian Sea from May 31 to June 6. The heaviest rainfall occurred over open waters, b ... read more


EARTH OBSERVATION
NASA Langley to Break Ground on Hydro Impact Basin

The Earth And Moon Formed Later Than Previously Thought

Old Moon Rover Beams Surprising Laser Flashes To Earth

MSU Robot Digs Most Moon Dirt

EARTH OBSERVATION
Mapping Project Consistent With Huge Historic Seas On Mars

Detailed Martian Scenes In New Images From Mars Orbiter

Mars500 - Eighteen Months In Isolation

Opportunity For Power Increase Comes With Passing Of Winter Solstice

EARTH OBSERVATION
Continued Development On 18 Small Business Tech Transfer Projects

ESA Astronauts At ILA In Berlin

Doctor Needed In Antarctica

A Chance To Name Europe's Next Astronaut Mission

EARTH OBSERVATION
China eyes Argentina for space antenna

Seven More For Shenzhou

China Signs Up First Female Astronauts

China To Launch Second Lunar Probe This Year

EARTH OBSERVATION
Russian Mission Control Raises ISS Orbit

ISS Orbit Adjusted Prior To Soyuz Spacecraft Docking

ISS Expedition 23 lands safely in Kazakhstan

China May Become Space Station Partner

EARTH OBSERVATION
South Korea Delays Rocket Launch

SpaceX Achieves Orbital Bullseye With Inaugural Flight Of Falcon 9 Rocket

Pratt and Whitney Rocketdyne Celebrates 50 Years

Space Industry Leaders And Astronauts Congratulate SpaceX

EARTH OBSERVATION
'Out Of Whack' Planetary System

Weird Orbits Of Neighbors Can Make 'Habitable' Planets Not So Habitable

Get It While it's Hot! Star Devours Planet

Exoplanetary System Offers Clues To Disturbed Past

EARTH OBSERVATION
Zynga launches new Facebook game, 'FrontierVille'

Asian computer firms betting on a 3D future

Integral Systems Awarded Contract To Support LS1300

Luxury firms step out cautiously into virtual world




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement