TerraSAR-L is the new imaging radar mission of the European Space Agency, with Astrium Ltd. acting as Prime Contractor. The platform, based on the novel Snapdragon concept, is built around the active phase array antenna of the L-band Synthetic Aperture Radar (L-SAR). Specification of the L-SAR has been guided by careful analysis of the product requirements resulting in a robust baseline design with appropriate margins.
Besides providing commercial geo-information products, TerraSAR-L will contribute to the Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) initiative and serve the scientific user community. Major application areas are: Kyoto inventory and wetland monitoring, solid earth science including seismic and volcanic activity as well as land slides and subsidence, land cover classification in different levels of detail and marine applications. The TerraSAR-L operations strategy is based on a long-term systematic and repetitive acquisition scenario to ensure consistent data archives and to maximise the exploitation of this very powerful SAR system.