Airbus and Hisdesat process first TerraSAR-X/PAZ radar interferogram

February 12, 2019  - By 0 Comments
Flattened TerraSAR-X/PAZ cross-interferogram (geocoded) over Burgan Oilfield, Kuwait. (Image: Airbus)

Flattened TerraSAR-X/PAZ cross-interferogram (geocoded) over Burgan Oilfield, Kuwait. (Image: Airbus)

Airbus Defence and Space and Hisdesat Servicios Estratégicos S.A. have generated the first joint TerraSAR-X/PAZ radar interferogram. This milestone demonstrates the missions’ capacity for cross-sensor interferometry, whose processing is among the most challenging.

Interferograms are typically used to derive the topographic elevation and deformation of the Earth’s surface, and are created using at least two different images acquired at different date. This flattened cross-sensor-interferogram has been created from a mixed image pair with four days’ temporal separation acquired by TerraSAR-X and PAZ (StripMap scenes from Nov. 22-26, 2018). The area covers the oil and gas production site Burgan (Kuwait) and parts of the Persian Gulf. The oil field is the world largest sandstone oil field with the total surface area of about 1,000 km².

As PAZ is positioned in the same orbit as TerraSAR-X and TanDEM-X and features exactly identical ground swaths and acquisition modes, they all three form a high-resolution SAR satellite constellation, jointly exploited by Hisdesat and Airbus. With the launch of PAZ, the observation repeat cycle has been divided by half, which improves the monitoring of fast ground deformation phenomena that can endanger lives and infrastructures.

“This is a major step towards achieving the implementation of our TerraSAR-X/PAZ radar constellation,” said Hanjo Kahabka, head of production and radar constellation manager at Airbus. “The level of accuracy obtained with this interferogram is a guarantee for our customers to continue to rely on the high quality standard we have set with TerraSAR-X and TanDEM-X, but with an improved monitoring capacity,”

“In Hisdesat we are very proud of reaching this milestone. Interferometry is one of the most technically demanding applications, and thanks to this successful joint exercise with Airbus we have not only demonstrated the top performance of our PAZ satellite but its full compatibility with TerraSAR-X and TanDEM-X,” said Miguel García Primo, CEO at Hisdesat. “Now operation in constellation can become a reality and we will be able to provide to our customers full set of images and services with the constellation.”

Tracy Cozzens

About the Author:

Tracy Cozzens has served as managing editor of GPS World magazine since 2006. She also is editor of GPS World’s newsletters and the sister website Geospatial Solutions. She has worked in government, for non-profits, and in corporate communications, editing a variety of publications for audiences ranging from federal government contractors to teachers.

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