In February 2000, the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) successfully collected Interferometric C-Band Synthetic Aperture Radar data over 80 percent of the Earth's land surface, for most of the area between 60?N and 56?S latitude. NASA and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), formerly known as the National Imagery and Mapping Agency (NIMA), co-sponsored the mission.
NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) performed preliminary processing of SRTM data and forwarded partially finished data directly to NGA for finishing by NGA contractors and subsequent monthly deliveries to the NGA Digital Products Data Warehouse (DPDW). All data products delivered by the contractors conform to NGA SRTM Data Products and NGA Digital Terrain Elevation Data? (DTED?) specifications. The DPDW ingests the SRTM data products, checks them for formatting errors, loads the public SRTM DTED? into the NGA data distribution system, and ships them to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Center for Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS). In addition to NGA's SRTM DTED? format, USGS EROS has reformatted the data into a non-proprietary, generic raster binary SRTM format that is readable by most remote sensing software packages. The SRTM format is also publicly available from USGS EROS.