TerraSAR-X and TanDEM-X


blue arrow Mission Overview

TerraSAR-X and TanDEM-X are German radar satellites from DLR. TerraSAR-X launched in 2007 and was joined by TanDEM-X in 2010. Both satellites remain operational. The twin satellites feature a unique geometric accuracy that is unmatched by any other spaceborne sensor.

Mission Parameters
Launch Date TerraSAR-X: 15 June 2007
TanDEM-X: 21 June 2010
Orbit Height 514 km at equator
Orbit Repeat Cycle 11 days
Orbit Inclination 97.44°
Ascending node / equatorial crossing time 15:00 ± 0.25h (local)

TerraSAR-X and TanDEM-X are part of ESA's Third Party Missions Programme, in which ESA has an agreement to distribute data products from the missions.

blue arrow Mission Objectives

Flying in close formation, the objective of the TerraSAR-X and TanDEM-X satellites is to simultaneously image Earth's terrain from different angles with unprecedented accuracy for research and development purposes as well as scientific and commercial applications.

blue arrow Instruments

The primary payload on the TerraSAR-X and TanDEM-X satellites is an X-band radar sensor. This instrument allows the satellites to acquire images with different swath widths, resolutions and polarisations.

The TerraSAR-X and TanDEM-X SAR instrument is an active phased array X-band antenna system with operational modes of 'stripmap', 'spotlight' and 'scanSAR' permitting the acquisition of high-resolution imagery as well as of wide-swath imagery.

Instrument Modes Specifications
  Spotlight HS mode SpotlightSL mode Experimental Spotlight Stripmap mode (SM) ScanSAR mode (SC)

Resolution, cross-track

Resolution, along-track











Product coverage, (km)
along-track x cross-track
5 x 10 10 x 10 5 x 10 ≤ 1500x 30 ≤ 1500x 100

blue arrow Data

blue arrow DATA DOWNLOAD

Download data from the TerraSAR-X and TanDEM-X missions through the ESA TPM Online Dissemination system. The data is freely available to registered EO-SSO users.



ESA is offering, for scientific research and application development, access to Full archive and New Tasking data from TerraSAR-X and Tandem-X missions depending on submission and acceptance of project proposals.

ESA will support as many high-quality and innovative projects as possible within the available quota limit, therefore only a limited amount of products can be made available to each project from the below collections

Registered users can have access to the TerraSAR-X ESA archive through the online dissemination server.

The archive continues to grow as ESA collects and stores new products

  • TerraSAR-X ESA archive: Products that ESA collected over the years. The dataset regularly grows as ESA collects new products

blue arrow DATA TOOLS

TerraSAR-X and TanDEM-X data can be processed using the PolSARpro tool. PolSARpro (Polarimetric SAR data Processing and Education) supports the scientific exploitation of polarimetric SAR data and is a tool for high-level education in radar polarimetry.

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