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ALOS satellite snaps Europe

ific and operational users across Europe and Africa. In order to deliver this, ESA has set up a Commissioning Phase Ground segment for ALOS with Kiruna Esrange, operated by the Swedish Space Corporation (SSC) as the downlink station.

Data from Kiruna is transferred electronically to ESRIN and is processed in a shared approach between ESRIN and the Neustrelitz Station, located in Germany, operated by the German Space Agency (DLR).

ESA will continue to test the ground segment chain from acquisition to archiving, processing and distribution with more regular downlinks scheduled to begin in late May. In addition to receiving data directly from ALOS, ESA will start to receive data offline from JAXA via media at the same time. The data volume is estimated to be around 200-250 Gigabytes daily, covering the ADEN zone.

When ALOS enters its Operational Phase, ESA will set up a larger ground segment with various acquisition stations and archives to provide optimal coverage over the ADEN zone. Operational ALOS data distribution from ESA will begin in November 2006.

An ESA Announcement of Opportunity for scientific use of ALOS data has already received 150 proposals, with 139 coming from ESA Member States, requesting a total of 26 000 ALOS products along with 14 000 products from ESA's ERS-2 and Envisat satellites as well as other Third Party Missions.

"Regular Category-1 data access requested by scientists for further research projects will be open at reproduction cost to the scientific and pre-operational user community for proposal submission from July," Hoersch said.

Operational and commercial users will be able to receive ALOS data via commercial distribution schemes. ALOS data will also be available for Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES), the joint initiative by ESA and the European Union to develop an independent environmental monitoring capability for Europe.


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Contact: Mariangela D'Acunto
mariangela.dacunto@esa.int
39-069-418-0856
European Space Agency
17-May-2006


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