TanDEM-X is the name of TerraSAR-X
TerraSAR-X, a German Earth observation satellite, is a joint venture being carried out under a public-private-partnership between the German Aerospace Center DLR and EADS Astrium GmbH; the exclusive commercial exploitation rights are held by the geo-information service provider Infoterra GmbH....

's twin satellite, a German Earth observation satellite using SAR (Synthetic Aperture Radar
Synthetic aperture radar
Synthetic-aperture radar is a form of radar whose defining characteristic is its use of relative motion between an antenna and its target region to provide distinctive long-term coherent-signal variations that are exploited to obtain finer spatial resolution than is possible with conventional...

) - a modern radar imaging technology. 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.


The primary mission objective is the generation of a consistent global Digital Elevation Model
Digital elevation model
A digital elevation model is a digital model or 3-D representation of a terrain's surface — commonly for a planet , moon, or asteroid — created from terrain elevation data....

 (DEM) with an unprecedented accuracy according to better than DTED
DTED is a standard of digital datasets which consists of a matrix of terrain elevation values. This standard was originally developed in the 1970s to support aircraft radar simulation and prediction....

 Level 2 specifications. The new DEM resolution will correspond to DTED Level 3 (post spacing of better than 12 meters) and a height accuracy of better than 2m - a standard not yet defined. Digital Elevation Models of posting better than DTED Level 2 are often called HRTI (High Resolution Terrain Information) DEM.

Digital Elevation Model

Researchers at the German Aerospace Center facility in Oberpfaffenhofen
Oberpfaffenhofen is a village which is part of the municipality of Weßling in the district of Starnberg, Bavaria, Germany. It is 20 kilometers from the city center of Munich....

 published the first 3D images from the TanDEM-X satellite mission. A group of Russian islands of the Severnaya Zemlya
Severnaya Zemlya
Severnaya Zemlya is an archipelago in the Russian high Arctic at around . It is located off mainland Siberia's Taymyr Peninsula across the Vilkitsky Strait...

group in the Arctic Ocean was selected for the first test.

External links

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