Explore instruments used in ALOS mission.



Discover how to access ALOS data.


The Advanced Land Observing Satellite (ALOS) was a Japanese Earth-imaging satellite from JAXA

About ALOS

ALOS Satellite Image
Image of the Advanced Land Observing Satellite "DAICHI" (ALOS)

The Advanced Land Observing Satellite (ALOS) was a Japanese Earth-imaging satellite from JAXA that launched on 24 January 2006 and completed its operational phase on 12 May 2011 after failing due to a power anomaly.

ALOS is part of ESA's Third Party Missions Programme, in which ESA has an agreement with JAXA to distribute data products from the mission.

ALOS Objectives

The ALOS mission objectives were:

  • providing its user community with data of sufficient resolution to be able to generate 1:25,000 scale maps
  • developing Digital Elevation Models and related geographic data products
  • performing regional observation to aid sustainable development goals
  • surveying natural resources
  • develop sensor and satellite technology for future Earth-observation missions
  • disaster monitoring around the world

ALOS Instruments

PRISM instruments
The Panchromatic Remote-sensing Instrument for Stereo Mapping (PRISM) was a panchromatic radiometer with 2.5 m spatial resolution at nadir. Its extracted data was designed to provide highly accurate digital surface models (DSM).
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ALOS instruments
The Phased Array L-band Synthetic Aperture Radar (PALSAR) was a successor sensor to the SAR on-board JERS-1 with more advanced functions such as higher spatial resolution and ScanSAR mode.
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The Advanced Visible and Near-Infrared Radiometer-2 (AVNIR-2) was a four band (visible and near-infrared) radiometer with a resolution of 10 m, designed for observing land and coastal zones.
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The ALOS instruments were capable of observing the entire surface of the Earth:

  • Any place within two days
  • Around the equator: about 60% of the area within one day
  • At latitudes of 35°: about 70% of the area within one day
  • At latitudes above 55°: any place every day (provided there is no cloud cover for the optical instruments)

Night-time observation modes: PALSAR (Note: AVNIR-2 and PALSAR are able to operate simultaneously).

PALSAR calibration is provided with PARC (Polarimetric Active Radar Calibrator) as well as by other means.


Non-scientific measuring instruments:

  • AOCS (Attitude Orbit and Control System)
  • RRA (RetroReflector Array)
  • SST (Star Tracker)



Download data from the ALOS mission through the ESA TPM Online Dissemination system.


Through the Online Dissemination server, ESA offers registered users access to the following data collections: