Thanks to the SAR-Lupe system, the Federal Republic of Germany has had capabilities of an international standard in global satellite-based radar reconnaissance since 2007. Developed and built by OHB System AG, the system comprises five satellites and a ground station. It was delivered to the customer at the end of 2008 and has been operating reliably and successfully with the involvement of OHB System AG since then. The contract governing the operation of SAR-Lupe expires in November 2017. In order to maintain its reconnaissance capabilities in the future, the Federal Republic of Germany is now planning the SARah follow-up system, which will be even more effective.
SARah will have a different architecture to SAR-Lupe with only three satellites in the space segment and two instead of one ground stations. Two of the three satellites will be based on the reflector technology which was developed for and has proven itself with SAR-Lupe and will be enhanced for SARah. It will be supplemented with a third satellite, which is a further development of the phased array technology developed by Astrium GmbH, which has also already proven itself in space and is currently being used on the civil satellite twins TerraSAR-X and Tandem-X. By linking these two radar technologies it will be possible to substantially enhance the efficiency of the overall system.
Under the contract signed today, OHB System AG will be responsible for implementing the entire system as prime contractor. In addition, OHB will be supplying the two reflector satellites and the main elements of the ground segment comprising the two ground stations. Under a subcontract, Astrium GmbH will be supplying the phased-array satellite and the related special functions for the ground segment.
The SARah ground segment is to be ready for operation in autumn 2016 in such a way that SAR-Lupe, which will still be operating at that stage, can be managed via this new system. SARah is to be delivered and enter into full operation at the end of 2019.
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