USGS EROS Archive - Digital Elevation - Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) 1 Arc-Second Global
Science Center Objects
SRTM data have been enhanced to fill areas of missing data to provide digital elevation data with a resolution of 1 arc-second for global coverage.
The Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) was flown aboard the space shuttle Endeavour February 11-22, 2000. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) participated in an international project to acquire radar data which were used to create the first near-global set of land elevations.
The radars used during the SRTM mission were actually developed and flown on two Endeavour missions in 1994. The C-band Spaceborne Imaging Radar and the X-Band Synthetic Aperture Radar (X-SAR) hardware were used on board the space shuttle in April and October 1994 to gather data about Earth's environment. The technology was modified for the SRTM mission to collect interferometric radar, which compared two radar images or signals taken at slightly different angles. This mission used single-pass interferometry, which acquired two signals at the same time by using two different radar antennas. An antenna located on board the space shuttle collected one data set and the other data set was collected by an antenna located at the end of a 60-meter mast that extended from the shuttle. Differences between the two signals allowed for the calculation of surface elevation.
Endeavour orbited Earth 16 times each day during the 11-day mission, completing 176 orbits. SRTM successfully collected radar data over 80% of the Earth's land surface between 60° north and 56° south latitude with data points posted every 1 arc-second (approximately 30 meters).
SRTM Data Products
The level of processing and the resolution of the data will vary by SRTM data set.
SRTM Non-Void Filled (Digital Object Identifier (DOI) number: /10.5066/F7K072R7) elevation data were processed from raw C-band radar signals spaced at intervals of 1 arc-second (approximately 30 meters) at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). This version was then edited or finished by the NGA to delineate and flatten water bodies, better define coastlines, remove spikes and wells, and fill small voids. Data for regions outside the United States were sampled at 3 arc-seconds (approximately 90 meters) using a cubic convolution resampling technique for open distribution.
SRTM Void Filled (Digital Object Identifier (DOI) number: /10.5066/F7F76B1X) elevation data are the result of additional processing to address areas of missing data or voids in the SRTM Non-Void Filled collection. The voids occur in areas where the initial processing did not meet quality specifications. Since SRTM data are one of the most widely used elevation data sources, the NGA filled the voids using interpolation algorithms in conjunction with other sources of elevation data. The resolution for SRTM Void Filled data is 1 arc-second for the United States and 3 arc-seconds for global coverage.
SRTM 1 Arc-Second Global (Digital Object Identifier (DOI) number: /10.5066/F7PR7TFT) elevation data offer worldwide coverage of void filled data at a resolution of 1 arc-second (30 meters) and provide open distribution of this high-resolution global data set. Some tiles may still contain voids. Users should check the coverage map in EarthExplorer to verify if their area of interest is available. Please note that tiles above 50° north and below 50° south latitude are sampled at a resolution of 2 arc-second by 1 arc-second.
SRTM File Formats
EarthExplorer offers SRTM data with a regularly spaced grid of elevation points in three file formats:
- Digital Terrain Elevation Data (DTED®) is a standard mapping format designed by the NGA. Each file or cell contains a matrix of vertical elevation values spaced at regular horizontal intervals measured in geographic latitude and longitude units. File size is approximately 25 MB for 1-arc-second data files and approximately 3 MB for 3-arc-second data files.
- Band interleaved by line (BIL) is a binary raster format with an accompanying header file which describes the layout and formatting of the file. File size is approximately 7 MB for 1-arc-second data files and approximately 1 MB for 3- arc-second data files.
- Georeferenced Tagged Image File Format (GeoTIFF) is a TIFF file with embedded geographic information. This is a standard image format for GIS applications. File size is approximately 25 MB for 1-arc-second data files and approximately 3 MB for 3-arc-second data files.
SRTM elevation data are intended for scientific use with a Geographic Information System (GIS) or other special application software.
|Vertical Datum||EGM96 (Earth Gravitational Model 1996)|
|Spatial Resolution||1 arc-second for global coverage (~30 meters)
3 arc-seconds for global coverage (~90 meters)
|Raster Size||1 degree tiles|
|C-band Wavelength||5.6 cm|
Additional SRTM Products are available through collaborating agencies:
Research grade SRTM (C-band) data are available through NASA JPL. These data were sampled at 3 arc-seconds using a nearest neighbor resampling technique for global coverage.
The German and Italian space agencies operated the X-band hardware and processed the data independently into a separate elevation data set. The SRTM/X-SAR data may be obtained through the German Aerospace Center (DLR).
Coverage Maps indicating the availability of SRTM products are available for download.
- USGS SRTM Mission Summary
- Interferometry and SRTM - An Overview
- NASA JPL SRTM
- JPL – SRTM Frequently Asked Questions
- USGS LP DAAC SRTM
- NASA STS-99 Mission
- Shuttle Radar Topography Mission 1 Arc-Second Global (Digital Object Identifier (DOI) number: /10.5066/F7PR7TFT
EarthExplorer can be used to search, preview, and download Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) 1 Arc-Second Global data. The SRTM collections are located under the Digital Elevation category.