Werninghaus, Rolf (German Aerospace Center (DLR), Space Flight Management, Project Directorate Earth Observation, D-53227 Bonn-Oberkassel, Germany)
TerraSAR-X is Germany's first national remote sensing satellite to be implemented in a public-private partnership between the German Aerospace Centre (DLR) and EADS Astrium GmbH, with a significant financial contribution from the industrial partner. This radar satellite, which is to be launched in the second half of 2006 will supply high-quality radar data for purposes of scientific observation of the Earth for a period of at least five years. At the same time it is designed to satisfy the steadily growing demand of the private sector for remote sensing data in the commercial market. This paper will describe first the development of the TerraSAR-X concept in the context of previous national SAR-related activities, the public-private-partnership scheme , the roles and responsibilities of the partners as well as the overall project organization. The mission and system design will then be described, followed by a brief overview of the satellite, the related Ground Segment and the applied data policy. Finally, the paper will focus on the actual project status and will give a brief outlook on the activities to come.