TanDEM-X Launched SuccessfullyThe Mission will Acquire the Database for a Global Homogeneous DEM
21 June 2010 - The German radar satellite TanDEM-X was successfully launched from Baikonur, Kazachstan, at 04.14 hrs CET on Monday, June 21, 2010. A first contact with a ground station in Troll was established at 04.45 hrs.
TanDEM-X joins its "twin" TerraSAR-X, which has been in operation since mid 2007, in its 514 km orbit. Together, the two satellites will spend three years collecting stereo radar data for a global digital elevation model of the Earth's entire landmass. This DEM will feature a relative accuracy of better than 2 meters (10 meter absolute) for a 12 meter grid.
"This successful launch is an important step forward for our company," stated Dr. Vark Helfritz, Managing Director of Infoterra GmbH, following the successful launch: "Infoterra will be conducting the commercial marketing of this unique global DEM, which will of course be an attractive enhancement of our companies' portfolio."
TanDEM-X is being implemented in a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) between the German Aerospace Centre (DLR) and Astrium GmbH with, funds from the German Ministry of Industry and Technology (Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Technologie).
Infoterra GmbH will be responsible for the commercial marketing of the elevation model, which will involve customising the DEM to the needs of commercial users: Infoterra will process the raw data supplied by the satellite system in accordance with specific customer requirements. This 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).
TanDEM-X Launched Successfully