PALSAR Phased Array type L-band Synthetic Aperture Radar

The Phased Array type L-band Synthetic Aperture Radar (PALSAR) is an active microwave sensor using L-band frequency to achieve cloud-free and day-and-night land observation. It provides higher performance than theJERS-1's synthetic aperture radar (SAR). Fine resolution in a conventional mode, but PALSAR will have another advantageous observation mode. ScanSAR, which will enable us to acquire a 250 to 350km width of SAR images (depending on the number of scans) at the expense of spatial resolution. This swath is three to five times wider than conventional SAR images. The development of the PALSAR is a joint project between JAXA and the Japan Resources Observation System Organization (JAROS).

PALSAR Characteristic
Mode Fine ScanSAR Polarimetric
(Experimental mode)*1
Center Frequency 1270 MHz(L-band)
Chirp Bandwidth 28MHz 14MHz 14MHz,28MHz 14MHz
Polarization HH or VV HH+HV or VV+VH HH or VV HH+HV+VH+VV
Incident angle 8 to 60deg. 8 to 60deg. 18 to 43deg. 8 to 30deg.
Range Resolution 7 to 44m 14 to 88m 100m
(multi look)
24 to 89m
Observation Swath 40 to 70km 40 to 70km 250 to 350km 20 to 65km
Bit Length 5 bits 5 bits 5 bits 3 or 5bits
Data rate 240Mbps 240Mbps 120Mbps,240Mbps 240Mbps
NE sigma zero *2 < -23dB (Swath Width 70km)
< -25dB (Swath Width 60km)
< -25dB < -29dB
S/A *2,*3 > 16dB (Swath Width 70km)
> 21dB (Swath Width 60km)
> 21dB > 19dB
Radiometric accuracy scene: 1dB / orbit: 1.5 dB
Note: PALSAR cannot observe the areas beyond 87.8 deg. north latitude and 75.9 deg. south latitude when the off-nadir angle is 41.5 deg.
  • *1 Due to power consumption, the operation time will be limited.
  • *2 Valid for off-nadir angle 34.3 deg. (Fine mode),
        34.1 deg. (ScanSAR mode),
        21.5 deg. (Polarimetric mode)
  • *3 S/A level may deteriorate due to engineering changes in PALSAR.