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.
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
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)
Through the Online Dissemination server, ESA offers registered users access to the following data collections:
- ALOS PALSAR Products: FBS, BFD, PLR and WB1 modes in RAW, GDH, GEC and SLC processing level
- ALOS PALSAR International Polar Year Antarctica: PALSAR data focused on polar regions
- ALOS PRISM L1B data acquired at ESA stations
- ALOS African Coverage ESA archive: PRISM and AVNIR-2 African coverage
- TropForest - ALOS, Deimos-1 & KOMPSAT-2 optical coverages over tropical forests