Ten years of precision and of reliability for the satellite TerraSAR-X (Airbus

Friedrichshafen, June 14, 2017 – is Designed for a life span of five years, the satellite synthetic aperture radar (SAR), TerraSAR-X, which acquires reliability of the radar images of high resolution over large areas, regardless of the brightness and weather conditions, has been launched with success there are now ten years old. Developed and produced by teams of Airbus Defence and Space based in Friedrichshafen for the account of the German aerospace center (DLR), the satellite operates at an altitude of 514 km, providing radar images to a plurality of users of scientific and commercial.

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“TerraSAR-X has not only doubled its service life – it has made 55 459 revolutions around the Earth and travelled a total of 2.4 billion kilometers with an availability of 99.9 %- but it also shows an outstanding performance,” said Eckard Settelmeyer, Director of the entity, Earth Observation, Navigation & Science, Airbus Defence and Space in Germany. “The state of TerraSAR-X is so good that a recent evaluation shows that it can still be operated for several years, until the establishment of a new system “.

“TerraSAR-X has a geometric accuracy unique,” said Francois Lombard, a Director of the entity Intelligence Airbus Defence and Space. “Thanks to its six imaging modes, it offers coverage and flexible resolutions between 0.25 m and 40 m, thus meeting the needs of many customers, such as engineering firms that ensure the safety of major construction projects, oil and gas companies to control their production, and the intelligence agencies and security who carry out a targeted monitoring and a detailed analysis of the detected changes. ”

Since the 2010 launch of TanDEM-X, its near-twin, the two satellites move in formation at a distance of only a few hundred meters. They have collected the basic data of WorldDEM, the new reference elevation models on a global scale, which covers the whole of the earth’s land surface with an accuracy and quality that is unmatched.

TerraSAR-X and TanDEM-X provide a high acquisition rate, regardless of the area of interest and the weather conditions, which is essential for the rapid creation of maps to facilitate the planning of assistance in the event of natural or industrial disasters.

After the launch of the satellite PAZ (owner and operator : Hisdesat), expected by year-end on the same orbit, the three satellites will form a constellation that will optimize the frequency of revisits to provide increased coverage and improved services.

Airbus Defence and Space is preparing the new generation of satellite SAR in order to continue the mission of TerraSAR-X and TanDEM-X from 2022.

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