TanDEM -X (English TerraSAR -X add-on for Digital Elevation Measurements, German " TerraSAR -X expansion for digital height measurement ") is a German radar satellite, which together with the TerraSAR-X satellite using SAR at X-band the Earth's surface should stereographically measured.


The start was first envisaged for October 2009, then it was carried out on 21 June 2010. Costs are about 85 million euros. The satellite TerraSAR -X is complemented by TanDEM -X to a twin satellite mission. Similar to TerraSAR- X is TanDEM -X ( better than 2 m resolution) have a graded resolution of 1 m, 3 m and 16 m, with a swath width of 10, 30 and 100 km. The marketing of images assumes the EADS subsidiary company info Terra.

Both satellites fly in a nearly identical sun-synchronous orbit, allowing interferometric images of the earth's surface and thus the creation of a highly accurate digital elevation model (DEM). These include the satellite via a system (English Tracking, Occultation and Ranging experiment TOR) for synchronizing the radar instruments and autonomous navigation control that holds the two missiles at a precise distance of 200 m with only a few centimeters tolerance. This system consists of a dual-frequency GPS receiver which has been developed by the Research Centre for Geosciences Potsdam and allows centimeter-accurate measurement of the position and in addition the radio occultation (and thus the temperature ) of the atmosphere and ionosphere at altitudes of 0-35 km. TanDEM -X was developed in Germany and, as well as TerraSAR -X, a public-private partnership. The DLR is involved as a public body, parts are privately applied by the company EADS Astrium.

The life of five years are planned ( after three years of the entire planet could be detected ), where more than 2.5 petabytes of data to be collected.

The first pictures of the satellite was released from the DLR on 22 July 2010.

On 10 August 2010 the German Centre for Aerospace consecrated (DLR ), enter the Inuvik Satellite Station in Inuvik for the satellite mission.

The TanDEM -X project was entitled " radar eye in space - Revolutionary technology for Earth and Environment" was nominated for the German Future Prize 2012.