Lehner, S.; Schulz-Stellenfleth, J.; Brusch, S.; Li, X. M. (German Aerospace Center (DLR), 82234 Wessling, Germany)
TerraSAR-X is a new German X-band radar satellite launched on June 15, 2007. In this mission operational spaceborne synthetic aperture radar (SAR) system with very high spatial resolution is set up producing remote sensing products for commercial and scientific use. TerraSAR-X is a scientific and technological continuation of the successful Space Shuttle missions SIR-C/X and SRTM. Due to its polarimetric and interferometric capabilities as well as the high spatial resolution of up to 1m, the TerraSAR-X sensor is a very interesting tool for oceanography. The presentation will give an overview of several applications, which are of both scientific and commercial interest, like e.g. current and ocean wave measurements, monitoring of morph dynamical processes or high resolution wind field retrieval. The potential as well as limitations of the instrument will be summarized and compared with existing sensors. Necessary steps to translate existing C-band SAR inversion algorithms for wind and wave measurements to X-band will be discussed. A strategy will be outlined to achieve this by a combination of theoretical investigations and the use of existing experimental data acquired by both airborne and ground based X-band radar. First results on the adaption of existing C-band wind retrieval algorithms will be presented. This will in particular include comparisons with in situ measurements taken at the FINO I platform in the North Sea. Wind and ocean wave parameter retrievals will be presented, e.g., based on TerraSAR-X scenes taken over the English Channel.