Innovative SAR mission for environmental and climate research

Tandem-L is a proposal for an innovative L-band SAR mission for environmental and climate research. The Earth system is permanently changing and dynamic processes occur in different spheres and at different time scales. Tandem-L has been designed to observe a wide range of processes at adequate time intervals and to deliver urgently required information for answering pressing scientifc questions in the domain of the bio-, geo-, cryo- and hydrosphere. In this way, Tandem-L will contribute signifcantly to a better understanding of the Earth system and its dynamics. Important mission goals are the global measurement of forest biomass and its variation in time for a better understanding of the carbon cycle; the systematic monitoring of deformations of the Earth’s surface on a millimetre scale for the investigation of earthquakes and risk analysis; the quantifcation of glacier motion and melting processes in the polar regions; the fne scale measurement of variations in the near-surface soil moisture as well as observations of the dynamics of ocean surfaces and ice drift. In times of intensive scientifc and public debate on the scale and impact of climate change, Tandem-L delivers important, currently unavailable information for improved scientifc forecasts and socio political recommendations based upon these.

Tandem-L is the result of three multi-year conceptual and feasibility and mission defnition studies led by DLR together with a team of more than 100 scientists in close cooperation with the German aerospace industry since 2008. The scientifc data exploitation from Tandem-L is being prepared as part of the Helmholtz Alliance ‘Remote Sensing and Earth System Dynamics’, including more than 140 scientists from 8 Helmholtz centres, Max Planck and Leibniz Institutes and other national and international universities and research institutes.

German Aerospace Center (DLR)

Alberto Moreira · E-Mail: alberto.moreira@dlr.de · DLR.de/en