Space Commerce

Airbus Defence and Space Launches WorldDEM™

By Marc Boucher
April 15, 2014
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Airbus Defence and Space Launches WorldDEM™
WorldDEM™ provides a superior level of detail and accuracy compared to SRTM data. Location: Arkansas, USA
Airbus Defence & Space

Airbus Defence and Space has launched a new 3D Digital Elevation Model product line, WorldDEM™, which consist of WorldDEM core and WorldDEM™. Another product in the line, WorldDEM DTM, will be coming soon. All three products are being marketed as “the first truly global 3D Digital Elevation Model of the Earth’s entire land surface.”
“What makes WorldDEM so innovative is that it will allow customers to tap into a vast global database of digital elevation data that is seamless, meaning they can expect to use the same type of data from one mission to the next,” said Bernhard Brenner, Head of the Geo-Intelligence programme line at Airbus Defense and Space.

WorldDEM core provides unedited Digital Surface Model without any further post-processing (editing). This product usually contains radar and processing artefacts and voids.

WorldDEM™ provides edited Digital Surface Model with assured hydrological consistency (i.e. flattening of water bodies, consistent flow of rivers, editing of shoreline). Airbus says this product is ideal for defence and security mission, oil and gas applications.

WorldDEM DTM will provide a Digital Terrain Model representing the bare Earth terrain (vegetation and man-made objects are removed) and is ideal for Ideal for mapping, hydrological modelling or terrain analysis.

“With several rounds of coverage, WorldDEM provides such a high level of detail that in some cases one can even identify a tree, or differentiate a gravelroad from tarmac,” Brenner said. “It gives customers the precision they need to anticipate in planning for the next crisis and for strategic operations in remote terrains.”

WorldDEM™ is the product of the TanDEM-X Mission (TerraSAR-X add-on for Digital Elevation Measurements), realized as a Public Private Partnership (PPP) between Airbus DS and the German Aerospace Centre (DLR). Airbus DS holds the exclusive commercial marketing rights for the data and refines the elevation models according to the needs of commercial users worldwide.

TerraSAR-X and TanDEM-X started synchronous data acquisition in December 2010 and completed two coverages of the Earth’s entire landmass in 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.

SpaceRef co-founder, entrepreneur, writer, podcaster, nature lover and deep thinker.