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TerraSar-X Upgrade to a Fully Polarimetric Imaging Mode

Dr Alberto Moreira (1)

(1) DLR German Aerospace Center, PO Box 1116, 82230 Wessling, Germany


TerraSAR-X Upgrade to a Fully Polarimetric Imaging Mode Alberto Moreira German Aerospace Center (DLR) Microwaves and Radar Institute 82230 Wessling, Germany E-Mail: TerraSAR-X will be the first German SAR satellite for scientific and commercial applications. The satellite program is being carried out in the scope of a Public Private Partnership between DLR and Astrium. The launch is planned for 2005. While the satellite is being built by Astrium, DLR is responsible for the development of the ground segment (receiving station, operation center, processing and archiving facility) as well as for the system engineering and calibration. The TerraSAR-X program is the result of a successful technology development line in X-band carried out in the scope of the SIR-C/X-SAR missions in 1994 and 2000. Additionally, the TerraSAR-X satellite features an active phased array antenna (4,8 m x 0,7 m) with 384 T/R-modules allowing the radar operation in stripmap, ScanSAR, spotlight and sliding spotlight modes. It will be operated in a dawn-dusk orbit at 515 km height. The redundancy concept in the TerraSAR-X receiving chain and the front-end design offer the possibility to use the second spare receiving channel in parallel to the main receiving channel. By this means, raw data from the two antenna halves (separated in along track direction) can be acquired independently and simultaneously. This split antenna concept enables several new imaging modes: along-track interferometry, fully polarimetric X-band data acquisition, enhancement of azimuth resolution and additional calibration techniques for the improvement of the standard TerraSAR-X products. The paper will first give an overview of the TerraSAR-X project and will emphasize the new applications to be investigated with the upgrade to a split antenna concept with a fully polarimetric mode.


Full paper


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