By means of very precise repeat-pass interferometric measurements, TerraSAR-X is able to detect even small movements of the Earth’s surface, thus supporting volcano monitoring.
The image was taken on 5 June 2008. It was acquired in spotlight mode with a resolution of two metres. It covers an area of 11�10 kilometres.
The TerraSAR-X mission
TerraSAR-X is the first German satellite that has been manufactured under what is known as a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) between the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum fur Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) and Astrium GmbH in Friedrichshafen.
The satellite travels around the Earth in a polar orbit and records unique, high-quality X-band radar data about the entire planet using its active antenna. TerraSAR-X works regardless of weather conditions, cloud cover or absence of daylight, and is able to provide radar data with a resolution of down to one metre per pixel.
DLR is responsible for using TerraSAR-X data for scientific purposes. It is also responsible for planning and implementing the mission as well as controlling the satellite. Astrium built the satellite and shares the costs of developing and using it.
Infoterra GmbH, a subsidiary company founded specifically for this purpose by Astrium, is responsible for marketing the data commercially.