Minimize JERS-1

The Japan Earth Resources Satellite (JERS-1) was a joint Japanese Earth Observation mission between the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA, formally the National Space Development Agency of Japan (NASDA)) and the Japanese Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI). NASDA was responsible for the main satellite and MITI was responsible for the instruments. JERS-1 was launched on the 2nd of November 1992.

The overall objectives of the mission were the generation of global datasets in order to survey resources, establish an integrated Earth Observation system, and the verification of instrument and system performance. The main applications of this mission include: survey of geological phenomena, land usage (such as agriculture and forestry), observation of coastal regions, geologic maps, environment, disaster monitoring, etc.

JERS-1 carried two Earth Observation sensors:

  • An active synthetic aperture radar (SAR) instrument;
  • A passive optical sensor (OPS) multispectral imager.

The JERS-1 menu to your right provides information concerning the SPPA activities for the SAR instrument.

JERS-1 operations ended on the 11th of October 1998 after a malfunction. Hence, around 6.5 years of Earth Observation was achieved with JERS-1. However, ESA continues to distribute JERS-1 data to users. The JERS-1 spacecraft re-entered the Earth's atmosphere at approximately 67oS and 20oW, off of Antarctica, on the 3rd of December 2001.


Artist's impression of JERS-1 (image credit: JAXA).


JERS-1 Characteristics

Launch Date

Jan. 24, 2006

Launch Vehicle


Launch Site

Tanegashima Space Center

Spacecraft Mass

Approx. 4 tons

Generated Power

Approx. 7 kW (at End of Life)

Design Life

3 -5 years


Sun-Synchronous Sub-Recurrent

Repeat Cycle: 46 days
Sub Cycle: 2 days

Altitude: 691.65 km (at Equator)

Inclination: 98.16 deg.

Attitude Control

Three-axis stabilized (zero momentum)


More details on the JERS-1 mission can be found here