Conference Paper

First bistatic spaceborne SAR experiments with TanDEM-X

Microwaves & Radar Inst., German Aerosp. Center (DLR), Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany
DOI: 10.1109/LGRS.2011.2158984 Conference: IEEE International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium (IGARSS)
Source: DLR


TanDEM-X is a high-resolution interferometric mission with the main goal of providing a global and unprecedentedly accurate digital elevation model (DEM) of the Earth surface by means of single-pass X-band SAR interferometry. De spite its usual quasi-monostatic configuration, TanDEM-X is the first genuinely bistatic SAR system in space. During its monostatic commissioning phase, the system has been mainly operated in pursuit monostatic mode. However, some pioneering bistatic SAR experiments with both satellites commanded in non-nominal modes have been conducted with the main purpose of testing the performance of both space and ground segments in very demanding scenarios. In particular, this paper reports about the first bistatic acquisition and the first single-pass interferometric (mono/bistatic) acquisition with TanDEM-X. Even in the absence of essential synchronisation and calibration information, bistatic images and interferograms with similar quality to pursuit monostatic have been obtained.

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Available from: Pau Prats-Iraola, Feb 23, 2014
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    • "not only because of the impressive geometric and radiometric accuracy of the calibrated products [1], [2] but also because the TSX satellite has become the perfect test-bed for future SAR mission concepts owing to its flexible commanding and operation. TSX has demonstrated for the first time in space several innovative modes like the TOPS mode [3]–[5], spaceborne bistatic imaging (together with its twin satellite, TanDEM-X) [6], bidirectional SAR imaging [7], or digital beamforming [8]. One of the last milestones achieved with the TSX satellite has been the acquisition of staring spotlight (ST) data. "
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    ABSTRACT: TanDEM-X (TerraSAR-X add-on for Digital Elevation Measurements) is an innovative formation flying radar mission that opens a new era in spaceborne radar remote sensing. The primary objective is the acquisition of a global Digital Elevation Model (DEM) with unprecedented accuracy (12 m horizontal and 2 m vertical resolution). This goal is achieved by extending the TerraSAR-X synthetic aperture radar (SAR) mission by a second, TerraSAR-X like satellite (TDX) flying in close formation with TerraSAR-X (TSX). Both satellites form together a large single-pass SAR interferometer with the opportunity for flexible baseline selection. This enables the acquisition of highly accurate cross-track interferograms without the inherent accuracy limitations imposed by repeat-pass interferometry due to temporal decorrelation and atmospheric disturbances. Besides the primary goal of the mission, several secondary mission objectives based on along-track interferometry as well as new bistatic and multistatic SAR techniques have been defined, representing an important and innovative asset of the TanDEM-X mission. TanDEM-X is implemented in the framework of a public-private partnership between the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and EADS Astrium GmbH. The TanDEM-X mission was successfully launched in June 2010 and started operational data acquisition in December 2010. This paper provides an overview of the TanDEM-X mission and summarizes its actual status and performance. Furthermore, results from several scientific radar experiments are presented that show the great potential of future formation flying interferometric SAR missions to serve novel remote sensing applications.
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    ABSTRACT: Based on an exact analytical bistatic point target spectrum, an efficient chirp-scaling algorithm is proposed to correct the range cell migration of different range gates to the one of the reference range for tandem bistatic synthetic aperture radar data processing. The length of the baseline (baseline to range ratio) does not give a direct influence to the proposed algorithm, which can be applied to the processing of tandem bistatic data with a large baseline even when the baseline is equal to the range. No interpolation is needed during the entire processing, only fast Fourier transforms and phase multiplications are needed, which result in efficiency. The validity of the proposed algorithm has been verified by simulated experiments.
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