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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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PolSARpro v6.0 (Biomass Edition) software new release

13 June 2019

ESA are pleased to announce the release of PolSARpro v6.0 (Biomass Edition) software, which is the latest version of the ESA PolSARpro Toolbox (Polarimetric SAR data Processing and Educational Toolbox).

ALOS PALSAR Ice Polar Year Antarctica dataset now available

18 January 2019

ESA is pleased to announce the ALOS PALSAR IPY Antarctica dataset is now available to the scientific community through an improved service: it is possible to easily select and download the products from an online map of Antarctica.

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)