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: DBLP

ABSTRACT 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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    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 resolution and 2 m relative height accuracy). 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 satellite was successfully launched in June 2010 and the mission started its 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. © 2013 IAA Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
    Acta Astronautica 01/2013; 89:83-98. · 0.70 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This paper addresses several important aspects that need to be considered for the processing of spaceborne SAR data with resolutions in the decimeter range. In particular, it will be shown how the motion of the satellite during the transmission/reception of the chirp signal and the effect of the troposphere deteriorate the impulse response function if not properly considered. Further aspects that have been investigated include the curved orbit, the array pattern for electronically steered antennas, as well as considerations within the processing itself. For each aspect a solution is proposed, and the complete focusing methodology is expounded and validated using simulated point targets and staring spotlight data acquired by TerraSAR-X with 16 cm azimuth resolution and 300 MHz range bandwidth.
    IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing 01/2014; · 3.47 Impact Factor
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: 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 resolution and 2 m relative height accuracy). This goal is achieved by extending the TerraSAR-X synthetic aperture radar (SAR) mission by a second, TerraSAR-X like satellite TanDEM-X (TDX) flying in close formation with TerraSAR-X (TSX). The resulting large single-pass SAR interferometer features flexible baseline selection enabling the acquisition of highly accurate cross-track interferograms not impacted by temporal decorrelation and atmospheric disturbances. Beyond the global DEM, several secondary mission objectives based on alongtrack interferometry as well as new bistatic and multistatic SAR techniques have been defined.
    Geoscience and Remote Sensing Magazine, IEEE. 01/2014; 2(2):8-23.

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