The German Aerospace Center DLR is Germany's national research center for aeronautics and space. Its extensive research and development work in aeronautics, space, transportation and energy is integrated into national and international cooperative ventures. DLR’s research portfolio ranges from fundamental research to innovative development of the applications and products of tomorrow.
As Germany's Space Agency, the German federal government has given DLR responsibility for the forward planning and implementation of the German space programme as well as international representation of Germany's interests.
The Center for Satellite Based Crisis Information (ZKI) presents a service of the German Remote Sensing Data Center (DFD) of DLR. It provides a 24/7 service for the rapid provision, processing and analysis of satellite imagery during natural and environmental disasters, for humanitarian relief activities and civil security issues worldwide.
TerraSAR-X and TanDEM-X are German Earth-observation satellites. TerraSAR-X, has been operating since 2007. The aim is to create new, high-quality radar images of the Earth’s surface. Its primary payload is an X-band radar sensor with a range of different modes of operation, allowing it to record images with different swath widths, resolutions and polarisations. TerraSAR-X thus offers space-based observation capabilities that were previously unavailable.
In 2010, TerraSAR-X has been joined by its twin satellite, TanDEM-X. Flying in close formation only a few hundred metres apart, the two satellites are imaging the terrain below them simultaneously, from different angles. These images are processed into accurate elevation maps with a 12-metre resolution and a vertical accuracy better than 2 metres.