The overall objectives of JERS-1 were:
- Generation of global data sets with SAR and OPS sensors in order to survey resources
- Establishing an integrated Earth observation system
- Verifying instrument/system performances.
The primary objective of JERS-1 was to gather data on global land masses while conducting observation for land surveys, agriculture, forestry, fishiries, enviromnental protection, disaster prevention and coastal surveillance, with emphasis on locating natural resources. In order to optimise accuracy in measurements, JERS-1 was equipped with SAR (Synthetic Aperture Radar), which is an active microwave sensor, and OPS, an optical sensor that measures light reflected from Earth's surface ranging from visible light to shortwave infrared light.