Technical Information


SPOT5 Satellite

The system has been operational since 1986 when SPOT 1 was launched.
SPOT 2 was placed in orbit in January 1990, followed by SPOT 3 in September 1993, SPOT 4 in March 1998 and SPOT 5 in May 2002.
System continuity will be assured by the SPOT 6 and SPOT 7 constellation.

More technical information about SPOT and SPOT Imagery products


TerraSAR-X in Space 2

TerraSAR-X in Space

Successfully launched on June 15th, 2007, TerraSAR-X has been fully operational since early 2008. With its active antenna, the spacecraft acquires high-quality X-band radar images of the entire planet whilst circling Earth in a polar orbit at 514 km altitude. TerraSAR-X is designed to carry out its task for 5.5 years, independent of weather conditions and illumination, and reliably provides radar imagery with a resolution of up to 1m and a unique geometric accuracy.

Key Technical Features include:

  • Active phased array X-band SAR
  • Single, dual and quad polarisation
  • Side-looking acquisition geometry
  • Sun-synchronous dawn-dusk repeat orbit
  • Repetition rate: 11 days; due to swath overlay, a 2.5 day revisit time (2 days at 95% probability) to any point on Earth can be achieved
  • Orbit altitude range from 512 km to 530 km

More technical information about TerraSAR-X


TerraSAR-X and TanDEM-X radar satellites in space

TerraSAR-X and TanDEM-X in Space

A Valuable Partner for TerraSAR-X

TanDEM-X (TerraSAR-X Add-On for Digital Elevation Measurement)is a radar satellite almost identical to TerraSAR-X (in orbit since June 2007) and circles the Earth together with TerraSAR-X as a unique satellite formation.

In a formation flight at distances of a few kilometres down to less than 200 metres, the “twins” record data synchronously in StripMap Mode (3m ground resolution) and thus acquire the data basis for the global Digital Elevation Model (DEM), WorldDEM™.The WorldDEM™ is a global elevation data set of unprecedented quality, accuracy, and coverage and is intended to be the replacement data set for the SRTM (Shuttle Radar Topography Mission) DEM.

Within just 3 years this homogeneous elevation model will be available for the Earth’s entire land surface, i.e. 150 Mio. km2. It will feature a vertical accuracy of 2 metres (relative) and 10 meters (absolute), within a horizontal raster of 12x12 m2.

The TanDEM-X Mission is - like TerraSAR-X- - is carried out as a Public Private Partnership (PPP) between the German Aerospace Centre (DLR) and Europe's leading space company, Airbus Defence and Space . These PPP programmes secure and strengthen Germany’s technological leadership in radar remote sensing. The agreements also settle the scientific use of TerraSAR-X Data and TanDEM-X coordinated via DLR's TerraSAR-X Science Service System and the commercial marketing through Airbus Defence and Space’s German part, Infoterra GmbH exclusively.