ALOS Systematic Observation Strategy - Overview -

ALOS Systematic Observation Strategy

The ALOS mission features a systematic observation strategy which comprises pre-launch, systematic global observation plans for all three instruments. The strategy is implemented as a top-level foreground mission and with a priority level second only to that of emergency observations.

The observation strategy is developed by JAXA EORC and aims to provide spatially and temporally consistent, multi-seasonal global coverage, on a repetitive basis, with all three sensors, during the life-time of the ALOS satellite. It is foreseen to result in a comprehensive and homogeneous global archive of PALSAR, PRISM and AVNIR-2 data, in which a consistent time-series for data can be found for any arbitrary point or region on Earth. Presently, such consistent data archives only exist for coarse resolution satellites.

The plans are designed to fulfil the following general acquisition concepts:

  • Spatial and temporal consistency over continental scales at fine resolution;
  • Adequate revisit frequency;
  • Accurate timing:
  • Consistent sensor configuration;
  • Long-term continuity.

Follow any of the links below for more details about each of the observation plans implemented for the three instruments on ALOS:

While the observation strategy is foreseen to serve the major data needs of both scientific and commercial users, additional acquisition requests can still be placed by invividual users (via the ALOS Data Nodes) or Principal Investigators participating in Announcements of Opportunities organized by JAXA and/or the ALOS Data Nodes. As such requests however have lower priority than the strategy observations, users are strongly encouraged to align individual observation requests with the observation strategy in order to avoid programming conflicts and thereby to improve individual request success rates.

An overview on issues to consider when making observation requests are available in the User Request Guidelines.

For more background information about the Observation Strategy for ALOS, please refer to:

  • ALOS PALSAR: A parthfinder mission for global-scale monitoring of the environment. (Rosenqvist, Shimada, Watanabe, Tadono and Yamauchi; Submitted to IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and remote Sensing, September 2006).
  • Implementation of Systematic Data Observation Strategies for ALOS PALSAR, PRISM and AVNIR-2. (Rosenqvist, Shimada, Watanabe, Tadono and Yamauchi; Proc. of IGARSS'04, Anchorage, Alaska Sept. 20-24, 2004).