The spacecraft ALOS-2 (Advanced Land Observing Satellite) under the provisional name Daichi was launched on January 24, 2006 from the Japanese Tanegashima cosmodrome in Kagoshima Prefecture on the Japanese island of Kyushu at 10:33 local time. The owner of the satellite is the Japanese aerospace Agency JAXA. The satellite was launched into a solar synchronous orbit with a height of 691.65 km. on April 22, 2011, the satellite began to lose control, and it was not possible to restore its operation. The operation of satellite was terminated on 12 may 2011 only Available archival data.

Brazil, image from ALOS 2 © RESTEC, resolution 3m
Brazil, space image from ALOS-2 © RESTEC, resolution 3m

Data obtained from the satellite are used for mapping, observing using of natural resources and for scientific research. One of the main tasks of ALOS was mapping Japan and other countries in the Asia-Pacific region.

Specifications of the ALOS spacecraft

Name of the spacecraft ALOS
Country Japan
Developer NEC Corp.
Operator NASDA
Launch vehicle H-IIA F8
Launch date 24.01.2006
Decommissioned 12.05.2011
  height, km
  inclination, degree
  filming equipment
  angles of deflection, deg
  crossing time of the equator, hours

Period of active existence, years 5
Power, W 7000
Mass of spacecraft, kg 4000

ALOS satellite is equipped with a stereo mapping camera (PRISM) to capture images with a resolution of up to 2.5 m, a multispectral camera (AVNIR-2) to capture color images with a resolution of 10 m, as well as an L-band radar (PALSAR) designed for round-the-clock and all-weather Earth observation and to capture images with a resolution of 7 to 100 m.

PALSAR sensor, can change the angle of sight in the range of 8-60 degrees relative to the Nadir, using phased array antennas with 80 modules of reception/transmission. The high-resolution mode is the main operating mode for interferometric observations. The ScanSAR mode provides coverage bands up to 350 km wide with single horizontal (HH) or vertical (VV) polarization. At the same time, the spatial resolution is about 100 m in the longitudinal and transverse directions. The polarization changes in each pulse of the transmitted signal, and signals with double polarization are received together. At a maximum data rate (240 megabits per second), the bandwidth is 30 km and the spatial resolution is 30 m.

About sensors PRISM and AVNIR-2 read more at the link.

Technical characteristics of PALSAR equipment

Mode Fine Beam Direct data transmission ScanSAR Polarimetric
Wavelength,cm 23.5 (L-band)
Bandwidth, MHz 28 14 14 14.28 14
Polarization HH or VV HH+HV or VV+VH HH/HV or VV/VH HH or VV HH/VV + HV/VH
Angle of inclination, degree 8-60 8-60 8-60 18-43 8-30
Spatial resolution, m 7-44 14-88 14-88 100 30
Shooting bandwidth, km 40-70 40-70 250-350 30
Transfer rate, Mbit/sec 240 240 120 120 240
Radiometric resolution, bit 5 5 3 or 5 5 3 or 5

Main cases of using data obtained from the ALOS satellite:

  • creation and updating of topographic and special maps
  • scales up to 1: 25,000
  • creation of digital elevation models (DEM) of high accuracy
  • study of relief changes caused by various factors
  • measurement of earth surface movements by interferometric method
  • control over the use of natural resources
  • observations of natural disasters
  • conducting research in various fields
  • solution of applied problems

FFor a preliminary calculation of the cost of covering the territory you need with satellite images from the ALOS satellite, please send the terms of reference or the coordinates of the site to e-mail: we will be glad to answer your questions by phone: +7 (495) 245-04-24

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