_satellite.getDataElement is an example of an internal function of DTM that was never intended for use by DTM users. It is actually one of the functions called from within satellite.getVar. We can only guess that people started using it because it was there and it sort of made sense if you wanted the value of a data element. Luckily, there wasn't much harm in using it...
Remedy : Use
_satellite.getVarin place of