ALOS stands for Advanced Land Observing Satellite, which was launched by Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency in January 2006. Its Japanese name is "DAICHI".
The dimension of DAICHI is 3.5m wide x 4.5m long x 6.5m high, with its Solar Battery Paddle is 22m x 3m wide, gross weight is approximately 4 tons, which is one of the largest among Land Observing Satellites.
■ ALOS major specifications
ALOS has three remote-sensing instruments, PRISM is a panchromatic radiometer with high resolution in order to obtain terrain data including elevation. AVNIR-2 is a visible and near-infrared radiometer for observing land and coastal zones and provides for better spatial resolution. PALSAR is a phased array type L-band Synthetic Aperture Radar, an active microwave sensor for cloud free and day and night land observation.
|Sensor||Spatial Resolution /Swath Width||Characteristics||Utilization|
||Spatial Resolution : 2.5m
Swath Width : 35km(Triplet mode)
|It has three independent optical systems for viewing nadir, forward and backward producing a stereoscopic image along the satellite's track.||Cartography, making DSM for mapping, urban planning, agriculture, forest monitoring, coastal monitorig, monitoring illegal dumping, flood monitoring etc.|
||Spatial Resolution : 10m
Swath Width : 70km
|The Advanced Visible and Near Infrared Radiometer type 2 (AVNIR-2) is a visible and near infrared radiometer for observing land and coastal zones.||It provides better spatial land-coverage maps, wide range of urban planning, agriculture(vegetation research), forest monitoring, coastal monitoring, pollution monitoring on ports and harbors, plants monitoring, flood monitoring etc.|
||Spatial Resolution : 10m(fine resolution mode)
100m(Scan Sar mode)
Observation Swath : 70km(fine mode)
|The Phased Array Type L-band Synthetic Aperture Radar (PALSAR) is an active microwave sensor using L-band frequency, which can observe with fine resolution in a conventional mode as well as wider swath with a SAR images.||It enables to make DEM, extract topography data by interferometry, estimate biomass, forest monitoring, agriculture, monitoring oil spill, moisture of soil, shipping inspection etc.|
Major Mission of ALOS includes cartography, regional observation, disaster monitoring and resource surveying. As examples of an exploration study, JAXA sets 12 categories as "major categories of research". They are, "Land Use and Land Cover Research", "Disaster Prevention and Disaster Monitoring", "Land and Mineral Resources", "Biological Resources", "Oceanography", "Agriculture" and so forth, and to promote the study that encourage to use Satellite data.
ALOS can manage mapping as well as updating of maps of Japan and around other countries mainly in the Asia-Pacific region. Using ALOS PRISM enables to obtain many kinds of data, which range from artificial components such as roads and constructions, target area of rivers and to water regions, and to topographical DEM data. With ALOS data, more detailed mapping is achieved as PRISM can also present information on vegetation and soil by adding optical sensor and synthetic aperture radar to DEM data.