Challenge | Prize | Winner | Evaluation Criteria | Partner

Radar Constellation Challenge by Airbus Defence and Space & Hisdesat

Radar satellite imagery is well established in a variety of Earth observation applications. Starting in late 2014, a new constellation of SAR satellites will complement the existing missions. The Spanish PAZ satellite will join the German twins TerraSAR-X & TanDEM-X in the same orbital plane. In combination with the identical imaging modes offered by all three satellites, this concept will make it possible to leverage the potential of a satellite constellation with high revisit rates. A variety of applications - including maritime surveillance, change detection, and interferometry - will profit from these enhanced capabilities in space. In addition to its SAR sensor, PAZ will carry an Automatic Identification System (AIS) receiver to track the position of offshore vessels.
The ideas submitted to this challenge had to be truly inventive in a technical or operational manner and offer a clear benefit. This Challenge particularly encouraged ideas involving maritime monitoring, security, or change detection applications. The integration of data or information from other sources, such as satellite imagery from other commercial or public sensors (the Sentinel fleet, for example), has also been considered.


The winner was awarded a radar satellite data package worth EUR 25,000 and operational support to help advance their idea.


PUNNET - Land Stability Monitoring & Mapping, submitted by Paul Bhatia and Team from PUNNET GEO, United Kingdom.

Evaluation Criteria

  • Benefit and Innovativeness (customer and economic benefits, advantages/improvements over existing solutions, innovation level)
  • Integration of SAR satellite data (particularly from TerraSAR-X, and PAZ)
  • Technological feasibility
  • Market potential (chance of commercial success, such as expected demand, investment potential and short time to market)
  • Legal aspects and risks (patentability, regulations/laws to be considered)
  • Copernicus relevance (significance of the use of Earth monitoring data for realisation, added value through Copernicus)


Pooling unique access to Earth observation satellite imagery with unmatched expertise and experience, Airbus Defence and Space is known as a world leader in geo-information. Hisdesat, an international provider of satellite services for government agencies, is currently developing new satellite capabilities for Earth observation and maritime traffic monitoring. The two companies will operate the Spanish PAZ satellite (built by Airbus, owned and operated by Hisdesat) together with TerraSAR-X and TanDEM-X in a constellation, thus providing customers with a wide range of benefits: significantly reduced revisit time, enhanced acquisition capacity, and easy ordering through one order desk.