Why Single-Pass Interferometry with Two Satellites?

The three-dimensional imaging of the earth’s surface and the tomographic measurement of 3-D vegetation structures without temporal changes requires simultaneous imaging from two different look angles. The optimum spacing (baseline) between the two imaging positions varies from approx. 1 km to over 10 km. A variable baseline length in this range is best achieved with a pair of satellites flying in close formation. A tandem formation is not only a fundamental prerequisite for the global measurement of forest height and vertical structures, but is also the basis for a multitude of other applications, as e.g.

  • Generation of digital elevation models both with and without the influence of vegetation.
  • Observation of three-dimensional ice structures and their spatiotemporal variations.
  • Measurement of ocean currents and wave height.
  • Detection of land and slope instabilities.
  • Observation of wetlands and water level measurements underneath vegetation.
  • Determination of sea ice thickness.
  • Detection of forest damage.
  • Monitoring of morphological variations in thawing permafrost regions.
  • etc.
Simultaneous data acquisition in a bistatic imaging mode with two fully-polarimetric radar satellites in L-band.