First bistatic spaceborne SAR experiments with TanDEM-X

Marc Rodriguez-Cassola*, Pau Prats, Daniel Schulze, Nuria Tous-Ramon, Ulrich Steinbrecher, Luca Marotti, Matteo Nannini, Marwan Younis, Paco López-Dekker, Manfred Zink, Andreas Reigber, Gerhard Krieger, Alberto Moreira

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

79 Citations (Scopus)


TanDEM-X (TerraSAR-X Add-on for Digital Elevation Measurements) is a high-resolution interferometric mission with the main goal of providing a global and unprecedentedly accurate digital elevation model of the Earth surface by means of single-pass X-band synthetic aperture radar (SAR) interferometry. Despite its usual quasi-monostatic configuration, TanDEM-X is the first genuinely bistatic SAR system in space. During its monostatic commissioning phase, the system has been mainly operated in pursuit monostatic mode. However, some pioneering bistatic SAR experiments with both satellites commanded in nonnominal modes have been conducted with the main purpose of validating the performance of both space and ground segments in very demanding scenarios. In particular, this letter reports about the first bistatic acquisition and the first single-pass interferometric (mono-/bistatic) acquisition with TanDEM-X, addressing their innovative aspects and focusing on the analysis of the experimental results. Even in the absence of essential synchronization and calibration information, bistatic images and interferograms with similar quality to pursuit monostatic have been obtained.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5970084
Pages (from-to)33-37
Number of pages5
JournalIEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Letters
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Bistatic radar
  • bistatic SAR processing
  • spaceborne SAR missions
  • synthetic aperture radar (SAR)
  • time and phase synchronization


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