High Accuracy Calibration Instruments for the Terrasar-X Commissioning Phase

R. Lenz and W. Wiesbeck (Germany)


TerraSAR-X, ground calibration, antenna pattern, SAR, active


This paper describes the development and system concept for an active and highly integrated, digitally controlled SAR system calibrator. For precise and high-quality SAR data, precise ground targets are necessary for external calibration of the SAR data. Compared to passive targets, active radar targets like transponders offer more features. The recording of the transmitted radar signals from the satellite becomes possible and allows additional data analysis and data correction. A total of 18 active transponder and receiver systems and 16 receiver only systems will be fabricated for the TerraSAR-X calibration campaign in summer 2007 [1], [2], [3]. TerraSAR-X is the first German spaceborne X-band SAR satellite mission. For the satellite antenna pattern estimation out of the received radar data, a two dimensional antenna pattern recognition algorithm is presented. For pre-launch investigation, a simulation environment with the TerraSAR-X parameters was built to investigate the antenna pattern reconstruction algorithm out of simulated data.

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