Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Japan’s ALOS in orbit: ESA will deliver its data to European researchers


ALOS, Japan’s latest Earth Observation satellite, was successfully launched at 02:33 CET (10:33 Japan time) on 24 January. Environmental data and imagery from ALOS will be provided to European and African users through a cooperative agreement between ESA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).

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 chart land cover and vegetation in visible and near infrared spectral bands.

Observing in L-band wavelength, PALSAR will complement ESA radar instruments currently flying on ERS-2 and Envisat operating in C-band wave, and the European national missions TerraSAR-X and Cosmo SkyMed, operating in the even shorter X-band.

Regarding optical sensors, the very high resolution together with the stereo mapping and DEM generation capability of PRISM will be particularly valuable. AVNIR-2 will provide in addition high resolution multispectral imagery for use in local to regional studies, complementing the optical data from medium resolution instruments currently available from ESA.

Following launch, a nine month commissioning phase will begin, with products set to be available to users from November 2006. ALOS data will be made available at conditions similar to those of ERS and Envisat missions, namely for scientific ’Category-1’ use as well as commercial applications.

An ESA Announcement of Opportunity for scientific use of ALOS data has already received almost 150 proposals which are currently undergoing evaluation by scientific experts from ESA Member States and JAXA.

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.

Mariangela D’Acunto | alfa
Further information:

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Move over, lasers: Scientists can now create holograms from neutrons, too
21.10.2016 | National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

nachricht Finding the lightest superdeformed triaxial atomic nucleus
20.10.2016 | The Henryk Niewodniczanski Institute of Nuclear Physics Polish Academy of Sciences

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia

21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions

21.10.2016 | Information Technology

From ancient fossils to future cars

21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>