17 October 2007 The German Earth observation programme: building on the success of TerraSAR-X and RapidEye
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In addition to five years of routine operations of SCIAMACHY on-board of ESA's ENVISAT mission, the launches of the TerraSAR-X and RapidEye missions and the beginning of both their operational phases are the major milestones for the German Space Programme in 2007 and 2008. These two missions will contribute significantly to the European GMES-Initiative and to the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS) and enhance the knowledge about state and dynamics of the Earth's system. Both missions are implemented under public-private-partnership between government and industry, an innovative economic scheme for space mission implementation. With the TanDEM-X and the Hyperspectral EnMAP mission this efficient way of sharing competences, costs and responsibilities on one hand and benefits on the other hand will be further followed. In addition, with MetImage Germany started the development of an imaging radiometer for the European post-EPS satellite system of EUMETSAT. These five attractive missions are important contributions of the German Earth Observation Community to the global system. This investment underlines the political objective of Europe and Germany to advance the environmental agenda. In parallel technology developments for next generation Earth Observation instruments have started, namely High Resolution Wide Swath SAR (Synthetic Aperture Radar), IR detectors and coolers, optical components and mechanisms for LEO and GEO and high power Mixed Garnet laser transmitters for LIDAR (Light Detecting and Ranging) applications. With these activities Germany will be able to provide future Earth Observation missions with suitable technologies as an answer to the increasing complexity of user requirements. In this paper the objectives and the strategy of the German Earth Observation Programme will be explained and the main elements, i.e. missions and technology developments as well as the plans for the future will be introduced.
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Peter Schaadt, Peter Schaadt, } "The German Earth observation programme: building on the success of TerraSAR-X and RapidEye", Proc. SPIE 6744, Sensors, Systems, and Next-Generation Satellites XI, 674407 (17 October 2007); doi: 10.1117/12.737924; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.737924


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