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The Japanese Earth-Observation satellite ALOS, developed by JAXA and launched on 24 January 2006, had the objective to provide the user community with data of sufficient resolution to be able to generate 1:25,000 scale maps.



ALOS mission objectives set by JAXA were to:

  • Develop Digital Elevation Models (DEMs) and related geographic data products
  • Perform regional observation for 'sustainable development' (harmonization between Earth environment and development)
  • Conduct disaster monitoring around the world
  • Survey natural resources
  • Develop sensor and satellite technology for future Earth-observing satellites

The mission included optical and an active L-band SAR sensor payload whose high-resolution data may be used for environmental purposes.

On 22 April 2011, the ALOS satellite was lost due to a power anomaly and completed its operations phase.

More details

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ALOS processing on the fly

30 March 2017

Following major development activities, which caused data access unavailability over the last months, ESA has now made all of its archived data from the PALSAR instrument available again. The new ground segment architecture allows for faster data access, as data requested by the user will be provided out of the archive and processed "on the fly". No more manual intervention for processing will be necessary on ESA's side. WB1 PALSAR data will become available in the next months.

New ALOS ground segment - ALOS AV2 PRISM data available from Q2 2017

14 February 2017

As previously mentioned in the news of 25 April 2016, ESA is developing a new ground segment to offer the possibility to have online access to all of the ALOS data available at ESA.

ALOS AV2 PRISM data will be available for users from Q2 2017.

Minimize Mission Facts and Figures
Operators JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency)
Date of Launch 24 January 2006
Status Operations terminated April 2011
Orbit Height 691.65 km
Orbit Type Sun-synchronous near-recursive circular
Repeat Cycle 46 days (with a sub-cycle of 2 days for event monitoring)
Resolution 2.5 m / 10 m multispectral/10-100m SAR
Swath Width 35 – 70 Km/70km/350km

Onboard Sensors provided under TPM

  • PRISM (Panchromatic Remote-sensing Instrument for Stereo Mapping)
  • AVNIR-2 (Advanced Visible and Near-Infrared Radiometer - 2)
  • PALSAR (Phased Array L-band Synthetic Aperture Radar)