ESA Orders Radar Imagery From TerraSAR-X Satellite

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Infoterra GmbH of Germany will provide commercial radar Earth observation imagery from its TerraSAR-X satellite to the European Space Agency (ESA) under a one-year contract valued at 2.2 million euros ($3.1 million), Friedrichshafen-based Infoterra announced.

The agreement also calls for ESA to pay Infoterra 200,000 euros to adapt the TerraSAR-X ground segment to permit ESA to place tasking orders directly with the satellite.

The contract is part of Europe’s Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) project, being financed jointly by ESA and the European Commission, the executive arm of the 27-nation European Union.

TerraSAR-X is capable of producing X-band radar imagery with a ground resolution of 1 meter, meaning it can detect objects as small as 1 meter in diameter. A nearly identical satellite, called TanDEM-X, is scheduled for launch in October. Both satellites were funded by a public-private partnership including the German space agency, DLR, and Astrium Satellites.