The U. V. Helava Award

Best Paper 2002

The U.V. Helava Award, sponsored by Elsevier Science B.V. and LH Systems, LLC, is a prestigious new ISPRS Award, which was established to encourage and stimulate submission of high quality scientific papers by individual authors or groups to the ISPRS Journal, to promote and advertise the Journal, and to honour the outstanding contributions of Dr. Uuno V. Helava to research and development in Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing.


The Award is presented to authors of the best paper, written in English and published exclusively in the ISPRS Journal during the four-year period from January of a Congress year, to December of the year prior to the next Congress. The Award consists of a monetary grant of SFr. 10,000 and a plaque. A five-member jury, comprising experts of high scientific standing, whose expertise covers the main topics included in the scope of the Journal, evaluates the papers. For each year of the four-year evaluation period, the best paper is selected, and among these four papers, the one to receive the U.V. Helava Award.


The second U.V. Helava Award will be presented at the 20th ISPRS Congress, Istanbul, 12-23 July 2004. The five-member jury appointed by the ISPRS Council evaluated the 32 papers of Vol. 57 (2002) and announced its decision for the Best Paper.
The winner of the 2002 Best Paper is:

external link  The shuttle radar topography mission - a new class of digital elevation models acquired by spaceborne radar

Bernhard Rabus, Michael Eineder, Achim Roth, Richard Bamler

German Aerospace Center (DLR), Oberpfaffenhofen, D-82234, Wessling, Germany

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Jury's rationale for the paper selection

This paper provides a comprehensive and compact overview and thorough evaluation of the SRTM mission and products, and especially high-resolution, high-accuracy global DEMs by SAR interferometry, an actual and important topic. The article provides a clear explanation of the principles of InSAR, the SRTM instruments and mission, interferometric SAR data processing and evaluation of DEM quality, and gives a detailed error analysis and examples. It is well written and understandable, informative and innovative, broad and detailed, and includes excellent figures. This paper, by members of the competent DLR team which was the main responsible group for the X-SAR SRTM instrument, documents an important advancement in remote sensing, the first single-pass interferometric SAR spaceborne mission.

In the name of the ISPRS and the U.V. Helava Award jury, I would like to congratulate the authors for this distinction and thank them for their contribution. I would also like to thank the sponsors of the Award, and the jury members for their hard work and thorough evaluation.


Emmanuel P. Baltsavias

Editor-in-Chief, ISPRS Journal of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing


The International Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing is a non-governmental organization devoted to the development of international cooperation for the advancement of photogrammetry and remote sensing and their applications. The Society operates without any discrimination on grounds of race, religion, nationality, or political philosophy.

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