Landcare Research - Manaaki Whenua

Landcare-Research -Manaaki Whenua



Japanese satellite series carrying several sensors, typically both multispectral and microwave.

ALOS-1 had 3 sensors

·         AVNIR-2 – Advanced visible and near infrared radiometer –4-band (blue, green. Red, NIR) multispectral scanner with 10m spatial resolution and  a 70 km swath

·         PRISM – Panchromatic remote sensing instrument for stereo mapping - panchromatic sensor with 2.5m spatial resolution collecting either along-track tri-stereo with a 35 km swath or images with a 70 km swath. Ideal for generation of medium resolution digital elevation models.

·         PalSAR – Phased Array type L-band synthetic aperture radar with several viewing geometries and modes including single, dual, and quad-polarisation

ALOS-2 - launched May 2014 - has an L-band SAR similar to PalSAR on ALOS-1 but with improved spatial resolution, observable range, and a spotlight (very high resolution) mode.

ALOS-3 will carry AVNIR-3 a multispectral scanner with improved spatial resolution and repeat coverage plus an improved PRISM sensor with 0.8m spatial resolution and a hyperspectral sensor.


ALOS-1 imagery was collected on a pre-planned and published schedule. Programming will be more feasible with ALOS-2 and -3.

ALOS-1 operated from January 2006 to April 2011; ALOS-2 was launched in May 2014; ALOS-3 is due for launch in 2015.


AVNIR imagery is useful for a number of mapping and monitoring applications. PalSAR imagery likewise but its prime function is for gathering regular forest global inventory. The main use of high resolution PRISM stereo imagery is the generation of quality digital elevation models.


Imagery is typically available as full scenes at a variety of processing levels  and pricing is very reasonable. contact us for details.