ESA Interface to TerraSAR-X Ground Segment is Operational

  • Infoterra GmbH passes Operational Readiness Review
  • Maximum Efficiency of TerraSAR-X Data Delivery for ESA's GMES Users

Friedrichshafen, July 6, 2010 – Earth observation data experts from the European Space Agency (ESA) and its user community can now rely upon a very efficient access to TerraSAR-X radar satellite data. Infoterra GmbH, the EADS Astrium subsidiary responsible for the commercial marketing of this satellite, has tailored the TerraSAR-X data deliveries to ESA and its GMES users to the specific requirements of the Agency, minimizing administration effort and complying with ESA-specific procedures.

At the same time, Infoterra's staff has been specifically trained for handling the GMES Space Component Data Access (GSC-DA) Programme requests, ensuring a maximum level of service quality and fast response times. Further, the necessary modifications to the German Aerospace Centre (DLR)'s TerraSAR-X ground segment have been implemented in parallel.

The adaptation of delivery standards to ESA requirements was part of the first phase of a contract Infoterra received in 2009: a € 2.4M framework agreement covering the delivery of TerraSAR-X radar satellite data to ESA's GSC-DA user community.

Consequently, an interface allowing for a semi-automated product and metadata exchange between Infoterra's commercial ground segment and ESA's Coordinated Data Access System (CDS) was put into operational service in June. With this implementation, Infoterra has successfully completed the first phase of the interface development activities within the CDS, which is a key element of the GSC-DA Programme.

"The operational implementation of this interface is an important milestone towards establishing an efficient, client-oriented process that minimizes efforts and maximizes flexibility on the user's side," says Juergen Janoth, the project manager responsible at Infoterra GmbH. He and his team have been working dedicatedly towards achieving this implementation in the past months, and are now proud to say that "TerraSAR-X is the second out of 14 missions to become operational for GSCDA operations, although we were actually the last to be kicked off in summer 2009."

Within Phase 2 of the programme (starting in 2010), the agency plans to install a harmonized data ordering interface that will enable ESA's experts to directly assess and access the acquisition capabilities of all civil Earth observation missions involved.

About Infoterra

Infoterra GmbH (Germany) is one of the leading providers of radar satellite data and services worldwide. The company holds the exclusive commercial exploitation rights for TerraSAR-X, the uniquely precise high-resolution radar satellite in operational service since 2008.

Building upon the satellite's outstanding capabilities, the company provides customers around the globe with imagery and direct data reception as well as a range of sophisticated products and services such as mapping, monitoring, or elevation models.

The upcoming TanDEM-X mission, collecting data for a global homogeneous elevation model, will mean yet another significant enhancement of this portfolio.

Infoterra GmbH is headquartered in Friedrichshafen and operates a production centre in Potsdam, currently employing an overall workforce of more than 150 employees. The company is a subsidiary of EADS Astrium and part of the Astrium Services Geo- Information Division, with companies and offices in 14 countries worldwide.

About TerraSAR-X

The TerraSAR-X Earth observation satellite is a joint venture being carried out under a public-private-partnership between the German Aerospace Center DLR and EADS Astrium GmbH. At DLR, a team of four institutes is responsible for implementing the mission in collaboration with the space agency.

Astrium GmbH developed, built and launched the satellite; the exclusive commercial exploitation rights are held by the geo-information service provider Infoterra GmbH. TerraSAR-X was launched on June 15, 2007 and has been in operational service since January 2008.

TerraSAR-X was joined in orbit by its twin satellite TanDEM-X in June 2010: In a close formation flight, the satellites will collect data for a global homogeneous DEM.

For a collection of TerraSAR-X imagery, please visit:


Mareike Doepke
T +49 7545 8 3924
M +49 171 793 7253

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