The purpose of this data set is to provide a single consistent elevation model to be used for national scale mapping, GIS, remote sensing applications, and natural resource assessments for Afghanistan's reconstruction.
For 11 days in February of 2000, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency ian Space Agency (ASI) flew X-band and C-band radar interferometry onboard the Space Shuttle Endeavor. The mission covered the Earth between 60?N and 57?S and will provide interferometric digital elevation models (DEMs) of approximately 80% of the Earth's land mass when processing is complete. The radar-pointing angle was approximately 55? at scene center. Ascending and descending orbital passes generated multiple interferometric data scenes for nearly all areas. Up to eight passes of data were merged to form the final processed Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) DEMs. The effect of merging scenes averages elevation values recorded in coincident scenes and reduces, but does not completely eliminate, the amount of area with layover and terrain shadow effects.
The most significant form of data processing for the Afghanistan DEM was gap-filling areas where the SRTM data contained a data void. These void areas are as a result of radar shadow, layover, standing water, and other effects of terrain as well as technical radar interferometry phase unwrapping issues. To fill these gaps, topographic contours were digitized from 1:200,000 - scale Soviet General Staff Topographic Maps which date from the middle to late 1980's. Digital contours were gridded to form elevation models for void areas and subsequently were merged with the SRTM data through GIS and image processing techniques.
The data contained in this publication includes SRTM DEM quadrangles projected and clipped in geographic coordinates for the entire country. An index of all available SRTM DEM quadrangles is displayed here: Index_Geo_DD.pdf. Also included are quadrangles projected into their appropriate Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM) projection. The country of Afghanistan spans three UTM Zones: Zone 41, Zone 42, and Zone 43. Maps are stored in their respective UTM Zone projection. Indexes of all available SRTM DEM quadrangles in their respective UTM zone are displayed here: Index_UTM_Z41.pdf, Index_UTM_Z42.pdf, Index_UTM_Z43.pdf.