US: Airbus Defense and Space has commercially launched WorldDEM, a Digital Elevation Model (DEM) that provides pole-to-pole accurate coverage. The new model is based on data acquired by the high-resolution radar satellites TerraSAR-X and TanDEM-X that produce a global DEM at HRTE3 level.
Above: WorldDEM provides a superior level of detail and accuracy compared to SRTM data. Location: Arkansas, USA
WorldDEM offers a standardised global DEM with no regional or national border divides. This homogenous coverage will equip defence customers with a new level of precision for military applications, mission planning and operations. For commercial aviation, the new model will provide improved input data for a range of flight systems. Beyond aviation and defence applications, the new model also has a wide variety of potential uses in oil, gas and mineral exploration, in addition to serving as high-quality base data in the field of orthorectification of aerial or satellite imagery.
TerraSAR-X and TanDEM-X started synchronous data acquisition in December 2010 and covered the earth’s entire landmass twice by mid-2013. The satellites are covering more complex terrain areas with a third and fourth acquisition campaign to ensure consistent high quality and accuracy of the final product. The entire acquisition campaign will be completed by mid-2014.
Source: Airbus Defense and Space