InfoTerra is an innovative market-derived EO-services concept with end-to-end products and service chains addressing end user information requirements in existing and new markets, with the advantage of a dedicated SAR satellite system TerraSAR (L+X-band) featuring high spatial and thematic resolution. The services will be provided from integrated value chains in a network with complementary partners, benefiting from most up-to-date and reliable image acquisition. The service development has been initiated in 1998 running in parallel to the TerraSAR space and ground system implementation. Infoterra, a new geo-information services company founded in 2001, implements the business concept. TerraSAR-X will be the first system element being available in 2006. The X-band SAR capability enables various applications, e.g. change detection to rationalize updating of cartographic databases; forest inventories, and de-/afforestation monitoring; crop stand density monitoring to support optimized fungicide application; land use monitoring in support of environmental control. A key challenge addressed in the exploitation development is the largely automated and quality controlled large area processing and feature extraction. The high resolution, multi-polarization, and multi-mode TerraSAR-X data source will considerably improve the short-term event observation from space. Reception of data via dedicated ground stations of customers or partners will also be offered.
The TerraSAR X and L-band satellites have been specified from the earliest requirements to work as a pair, delivering quasisimultaneous
data, designed to meet commercial and institutional needs for geo-information.
Early work was concentrated on the generation of products to meet commercial needs, for applications such as commercial
agriculture management, utilities and risk assessment. Since the advent of the GMES initiative, it has been possible to envisage a sustainable EO system providing for European institutional needs, as well as delivering commercial revenues.
This paper will focus on the results of current work, particularly addressing the specification of joint X- and L-band derived
geo-information products. It is very likely that the X-band satellite will become operational some years before its L-band partner, however. Therefore, the development of pre-cursor products and services, using supplementary EO data is important. C-band SAR imagery, from Envisat and Radarsat, along with L-band ALOS data and optical imagery is most likely to be used in the derivation of these products. It is also likely that, airborne data will have a role to play during this development period.
The paper will also illustrate the high-level architecture of the TerraSAR Exploration Service Infrastructure, outlining the end-to-end TerraSAR delivery chain.