ALOS/PALSAR and ALOS-2 program – JAXA’s spaceborne L-band SAR programs
(1) Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, Earth Observation Research Centre, -, Japan
Advanced Land Observation Satellite (ALOS) has been for three years in the space and monitoring the global earth using the three high-resolution sensors. The number of the images acquired reached to 1,000,000 70km x 70km scenes by PALSAR and 600, 000 by AVNIR-2, and 1,200,000 by 35 km x 35 km PRISM scenes. This means that PALSAR collected 11 times coverage of the global Earth, surface of which can be covered by 84,000 scenes. Use of the L-band SAR is advantageous to deformation and deforestation monitoring, because it has the higher penetration to the vegetation covered land and higher contrast observation of the forest cut surface. PALSAR polarimetry is the world first mode provided to operational between the existing spaceborne SAR’s, while the Radarsat2 becomes as the second operational in C-band. The polarimetry is being evaluated for potential application fields.
With regard to the satellite and sensor conditions, the ALOS and the sensors are in very good conditions except for a loss of one transmitter to send the observation data with the communication satellite. The remained fuel estimates more than7 years of the mission life.
We have been seeking the continuation of the high-resolution land observation satellite as the ALOS follow on satellite program. We finally reached to the consensus in the Japanese governmental level that the Advance Land Observation Satellite-2 (ALOS-2) is the ALOS-follow-on series satellite carrying the higher resolution L-band SAR as the single sensor onboard satellite. Thus, the Japanese program ensures the continuation of the L-band SAR observation from the JERS-1. The SAR will be functioned with the improved performances, i.e., resolution, polarization, reduction of the range ambiguity, and the continuous interferometry. The target launch will be 2013.
In this presentation, we will introduce the status of the ALOS and ALOS-2.