SAR-Lupe´s superb image quality confirmed by images of the International Space Station
OHB demonstrating the capabilities of the SAR-Lupe satellites with a unique testing method
SAR-Lupe, the future satellite system for radar image reconnaissance, is currently being developed for the German Federal Armed Forces by Bremen-based space technology company OHB-System AG.
In order to demonstrate the capabilities of the satellites to the customer, the German Federal Office of Defense Technology and Procurement BWB, the SAR-Lupe team, which comprises renowned European companies, has developed a unique test known as the SAR end-to-end test or SEET for short. In this test, the satellite was aligned to the International Space Station ISS from the ground and produced high-resolution images of the station in orbit. Prior to this, various inverted imaging tests had been performed in July to prove that the image quality required by BWB can be achieved. “The images of the ISS generated by the SAR end-to-end test successfully demonstrated the imaging function chain and proved the capabilities of SAR-Lupe for the German Federal Armed Forces,” said the SAR-Lupe project manager at BWB, Wolfgang Perkert, commenting on the superb quality of the images. The tests were performed at the new satellite integration hall in Bremen. Designed as a clean room, the hall has a “Radom” radar dome especially for such tests, to protect the satellite from external soiling during imaging.
SEET covers the entire imaging chain. The coordinates of the ISS and the imaging command were transferred to the satellite, which performed all steering functions required for recording images on its own. The image data was temporarily stored in the satellite, encrypted, downloaded and processed. At the end of the chain, a radar image was produced, the quality of which far exceeded expectations for this test.
“The success of this test marks a further key milestone in the creation of the first German reconnaissance satellite and testifies to the technological superiority of our new satellite concept,” explained OHB project manager Dr. Ingo Engeln, who added that he was very satisfied with the excellent work of the entire SAR-Lupe team.