Full text: Mapping without the sun

Commercial exploitation of TanDEM-X will benefit mainly 
from the global high quality DEM product, the associated 
update services, and the generation of topographic base data 
(image and contour line maps). Further applications with 
commercial potential will be implemented, based on the 
applications research results (e.g. moving target detection, 
super resolution, differential InSAR based monitoring). 
The DEM quality domain that the TanDEM-X mission can 
provide is today dominated by offers based on airborne 
campaigns. There is currently no system or process available 
to provide a global service for HRTI-3 (z-accuracy better than 
2 m) and in specific cases HRTI-4 (z-accuracy better than 1 m) 
DEMs with short response time. Those requirements of the 
important geospatial markets can only be fulfilled by globally 
operating a space-borne SAR system. Optical systems require 
cloud free weather conditions and therefore often fail to fulfil 
the global response time demand. Airborne systems lack in 
global mapping capability. 
Figure 6. Overview of available sensors and their digital 
elevation standard. 
7.1 Conpany profile 
Launched in January 2001, Infoterra GmbH is a 100% owned 
subsidiary of EADS Astrium, Europe's leading space 
company. Infoterra was founded to prepare and conduct the 
commercial exploitation of TerraSAR-X and TanDEM-X data 
services as well as system capacities. 
Infoterra was formed by spinning-off the 'Earth Observation 
Services' division of the former EADS Astrium GmbH, 
Germany, re-branding of the UK-based National Remote 
Sensing Centre Ltd., and the French ISTAR S.A. Infoterra has 
a 200-strong team of highly skilled staff, including experts in 
cartography, photogrammetry, forestry, agriculture, 
geological exploration, environmental management, and 
telecommunications planning. In addition, Infoterra's staff is 
skilled in the development of systems software specific to the 
management of geographic data. Such a strong market- 
oriented positioning facilitates a prompt and flexible response 
to all enquiries within the geo-information community. 
Infoterra is serving and supporting both public and private 
customers with geo-information on cartography, land use/ 
land cover, and forestry as well as with a focus on TerraSAR- 
X, GMES (Global Monitoring for Environment and Security), 
and thematic mapping services. Infoterra is ISO9001:2000 
and ISO 14001 certified and guarantees that all activities are 
performed according to internationally accepted quality and 
environmental standards. 
7.2 Service Implementation 
The TerraSAR-X as well as the TanDEM-X 
implementation will be carried out in a PPP frame (Public 
Private Partnership) between EADS Astrium GmbH and DLR. 
The observation capacity of TanDEM-X will be 50% for 
InSAR operations and 50% for compensating the TerraSAR- 
X capacity contributions to the InSAR mission. Through this 
capacity swap the nominal TerraSAR-X line can be 
maintained at committed service capacities. Infoterra GmbH 
will exploit the commercial mission part and sell the products 
and services globally, capitalizing on the customer base and 
sales network established for the TerraSAR-X based portfolio. 
TerraSAR-X and TanDEM-X data and services will be a 
major component in many applications related the geospatial 
information. In the basic application TerraSAR-X will 
contribute to topographic mapping, time-critical 
reconnaissance, and land cover surveys which provide the 
core elements for any presentation or analysis of geographic 
information. In addition TanDEM-X will provide the third 
dimension in a new quality. 
Depending on the information depth of the requested 
information categories, the derivation from SAR data might 
be very complex in specific cases. Based on the profound 
experience of the Germany-based Infoterra and its distribution 
and production partners TerraSAR-X / TanDEM-X data and 
services will be delivered globally and with the highest 
standard of accuracy, quality, reliability; and sustainability. 
Starting in the second quarter of 2007, TerraSAR-X will 
support the use of other Earth observation data through its 
multi-scale, multi-temporal and multi-frequency/polarization 
observations of remote areas that were formerly almost 
impossible to map. TanDEM-X will follow in 2009. 
Figure 1 -3: courtesy of Joanneum Research, Austria

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