SAR-Lupe is Germany's first satellite-based reconnaissance system. It consists of five identical small satellites and a ground segment.

OHB-System AG developed the overall system as the principal contractor for the German government, leading a consortium of well-known European space companies.

Thanks to the intelligent combination of existing technologies, SAR-Lupe is able to operate night and day independently of weather conditions, delivering up-to-date high-resolution images from virtually all regions of the world.

The award of the SAR-Lupe contract to the OHB-System-led syndicate was announced in December 2001. The first satellite was launched and successfully placed in its intended orbit in December 2006. Within the space of the following 16 months, a further four satellites were placed in orbit at an altitude of around 500 km and successfully put into operation. Delivery of the overall system was officially accepted by the customer, the German Federal Office of Equipment, Information technology and Utilization (BAAINBw), in September 2008. The system was handed over to the Strategy Reconnaissance Command of the German Federal Armed Forces in December 2008. This also marked the commencement of the ten year satellite operation contract entered into with OHB-System.

With SAR-Lupe, OHB-System has proved that it is able to develop, build and launch satellite constellations featuring world-class technology. In addition, it has demonstrated that it is a reliable partner as it managed to complete the project valued at EUR 320 million within the budget and on schedule.


SAR = Synthetic Aperture Radar

Main customers

German Federal Ministry of Defense, Berlin/Bonn
German Federal Office of Equipment, Information technology and Utilization, Koblenz


To generate high-resolution SAR (synthetic aperture radar) images for military reconnaissance purposes

SAR-Lupe radar reconnaissance system in operation for 10 years

The space system and technology group OHB SE is celebrating the tenth anniversary of a product with which the Bremen-based company achieved its breakthrough to become a leading German systems specialist. Back in 2007, OHB supplied the German federal armed forces with their first own satellite-based reconnaissance system. It has been operating reliably around the clock for the past ten years. SAR-Lupe allows the German federal government to respond quickly and independently in crisis situations and makes a constructive contribution to ensuring full readiness of the armed forces.