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TanDEM-X passes tests with flying colours

Radar satellite complete and ready for launch campaign

The testing programme covered electromagnetic compatibility, thermal-vacuum tests including sun simulation, vibration tests, acoustic tests and the determination of the satellite's mass properties.

The Airbus Defence and Space-built TanDEM-X satellite is scheduled for lift-off on 21 June aboard a Dnepr launch vehicle from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

Mapping the Earth in 3D

Flying in tandem with its ‘twin’ TerraSAR-X, which has been operational since 2007, this new radar satellite will enable the measurement of the whole of the Earth’s land surface (150 million km2). One mission goal is to produce a global Digital Elevation Model of unprecedented accuracy. For this purpose, TanDEM-X and TerraSAR-X form a radar interferometer: the satellites fly in close formation at a distance of only a few hundred metres, thus being able to take simultaneous terrain images from different perspectives.

This mapping procedure is currently unparalleled.

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