EGU General Assembly 2021
© Author(s) 2021. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Japan's L-SAR missions

Shin-ich Sobue, Takeo Tadono, Satoko Miura, Akiko Noda, Takeshi Motooka, and Masato Ohki
Shin-ich Sobue et al.
  • Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, Tsukuba, Japan (

Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) launched its first L-band SAR mission - Japanese Earth Resources Satellite (JERS-1) in 1992. Though the design life of JERS-1 was 2 years, the satellite had obtained observational data for more than 6 years and ended the mission in 1998. Following to JERS-1, Advanced Land Observing Satellite (ALOS) was launched in 2006. ALOS was equipped with three sensors: the Phased Array type L-band SAR (PALSAR), the Panchromatic Remote-sensing Instrument for Stereo Mapping (PRISM), and the Advanced Visible and Near Infrared Radiometer type 2 (AVNIR-2). ALOS's observation data has been used in various areas including disaster mitigation through observing regions damaged by earthquakes, tsunami, or typhoons, as well as carrying out forest monitoring, natural environment maintenance, agriculture, and compiling a 1/25,000 topographical map. When the Great East Japan Earthquake hit Japan in 2011, ALOS took some 400 images over disaster-stricken areas to provide information to all parties concerned.

Technologies acquired from the ALOS are succeeded to the second Advanced Land Observing Satellite “ALOS-2.”, which was successfully launched on 24th May 2014. The mission sensor of ALOS-2 is the Phased Array type L-band Synthetic Aperture Radar-2 called PALSAR-2 which is the state-of-the-art L-band SAR system. Until now after the successful completion of initial checkout after launching, ALOS-2 has been contributed to a lot of emergency observations for natural disasters, not only in Japan but also in the world. Furthermore, based on the Basic Observation Scenario (BOS) of ALOS-2, 10m global map data and other mode data are routinely collected and archived. This paper describes the results of ALOS-2 operation in nominal operation phase and outline of future ALOS series missions, especially ALOS-4 launched JFY2022.

How to cite: Sobue, S., Tadono, T., Miura, S., Noda, A., Motooka, T., and Ohki, M.: Japan's L-SAR missions, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-534,, 2021.


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