The Advanced Land Observing Satellite (ALOS) is a four-tonne satellite dedicated to land-based Earth Observation. It was lifted-off from the Tanegashima Space Centre on an H-IIA launch vehicle, which will deliver ALOS into a 700-km polar orbit. ESA is supporting ALOS as a 'Third Party Mission', which means the Agency will utilise its multi-mission ground systems of existing national and industrial facilities and expertise to acquire, process and distribute data from the satellite. Based on a Memorandum of Understanding with JAXA, approved at ESA Council in December and now ready for signature, ESA will host the ALOS European Data Node (ADEN), delivering near-real time and offline data to scientific and operational users across Europe as well as Africa.
ALOS has multiple objectives: to support improved cartography, especially within the Asia-Pacific region, to gather environmental observations in support of sustainable development efforts, to survey natural resources, to develop technologies for further Earth Observation missions and to monitor disasters on a worldwide basis JAXA having signed the International Charter on Major Disasters in February 2005.
The satellite carries a payload of three instruments: the Phased Array type L-band Synthetic Aperture Radar (PALSAR), a microwave radar instrument that can acquire observations during both day and night and through any weather conditions; the Panchromatic Remote-sensing Instrument of Stereo Mapping (PRISM) which can observe selected areas in three dimensions, down to a high 2.5-metre spatial resolution; and the Advanced Visible and Near Infrared Radiometer type-2 (AVNIR-2), designed to
Contact: Mariangela D'Acunto
European Space Agency