Sharpening up Mount Cameroon

This series of images shows how increasing the resolution of digital elevation models can significantly improve the information content of satellite data. The animation in the middle shows a sequence starting with an older 10 km resolution model at the left and ending with a recent 100 m resolution model at the right, via an interim 1 km resolution model (the MPEG animation will start by clicking here).


low resolution DEM medium resolution DEM high resolution DEM

The high precision of the last digital elevation model is a consequence of innovative SAR (Synthetic Aperture Radar) interferometric technology. The phase difference in the reflected radar signal that arises by recording a point on earth from two different viewing angles allows a direct and exceptionally precise derivation of elevation. DFD is actively engaged in the development of methodology and an operational data processing chain for creating high-resolution digital elevation models based on SAR interferometry.

Information about the constituent models (ETOPO5 10 km, GLOBE 1 km and SAR interferometric 100 m) used above and about the animation may be obtained by contacting Mr. Robert Meisner by E-mail in Oberpfaffenhofen at

Higher resolution images:


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