Launched on Jan 24, 2006, the Advanced Land Observation Satellite (ALOS) has been developed to contribute to the fields of mapping, precise regional land observation, disaster monitoring and resource surveying.

The Advanced Land Observing Satellite (ALOS) developed by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) was launched in 2006 and is a high resolution satellite owned and operated by RESTEC. The satellite has three sensors i.e. two optical imagers (PRISM and AVNIR-2) and an L-band synthetic aperture radar (PALSAR - see the RADAR page for more information). The Advanced Visible and Near Infrared Radiometer Type 2 (AVNIR-2) has a cross track pointing function with off-nadir pointing capability from -44 to +44 degrees. The Panchromatic Remote Sensing Instrument for Stereo Mapping (PRISM) is a black and white radiometer with a 2.5 m spatial resolution. PRISM has three independent optical systems for nadir, forward and backward looking capture allowing along track stereoscopy. Forward and backward looking telescopes are inclined from -24 to +24 degrees off nadir to produce a base to height ratio of 1.0. PRISM triplets are capable of producing DEMs with errors of about 5 m and with a 5 m grid spacing.

The ALOS satellite has now completed its mission after 5 years of service. During this time, ALOS mapped the Earth's surface, created three dimensional terrain models and acquired a vast number of images which are available to order through Geoimage.

Resolution PRISM (at nadir) 2.5 m
AVNIR-2 (at nadir) 10 m
Nominal Swath Width PRISM (at nadir) 35 km x 35 km (can be up to 70 km)
AVNIR-2 (at nadir) 70 km x 70 km
  • PRISM: 480 - 710 nm
  • AVNIR-2 Blue: 420 - 500 nm
  • AVNIR-2 Green: 520- 600 nm
  • AVNIR-2 Red: 610- 690 nm
  • Near Infrared: 760- 890 nm
Archive Availability Possible from 2006 - 2011
Programmable? No
Minimum area of purchase Full scene
Stereo available? YES - PRISM only
Largest Scale 1:7,500 - (PRISM)
1:7,500 - (PRISM pan-sharpened AVNIR-2)
1:25,000 - (AVNIR-2 )
Dynamic Range 8 bits
Applications Land use and planning
Infrastructure planning
Environmental assessment
Marine studies
Mapping / Surveying
Civil Engineering
Utility corridor mapping
Natural Resources
Mining and Exploration
Oil and Gas
DEM generation

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