ALOS, Advanced Land Observing Satellite, is the world's top class land observing satellite launched in January 2006 by Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and carries a nickname "DAICHI"

Launched by JAXA on January 2006, ALOS, also known as "DAICHI", was equipped with both optical & SAR sensors. It ended operation on May 2011 after having imaged about 6.5 million scenes of the entire world during it 5 year lifespan.

ALOS Main Specifications

Launch date January 24, 2006
Launch vehicle H-IIA
Launch site Tanegashima Space Center, Japan
Spacecraft mass Approx. 4 tons
Generated power Approx. 7 kW (at EOL)
Life Designed life : 3 years,
Target : 5 years
Orbit Sun-synchronous Sub-recurrent
Revisit Time : 46 days
Sub cycle : 2 days
Altitude (at Equator) : 691.65 km
Inclination : 98.16°
Attitude determination
Within 2.0 x 10 -4°
(off-line, with GCP)
Position determination
Within 1 m (off-line)
Data rate 240 Mbps (Via Data Relay Test Satellite)
120 Mbps (Direct transmission)
Onboard data
Solid-state data recorder (90 GB)

Equipped sensor of ALOS.

ALOS has three earth-observing sensors: Panchromatic Remote-sensing Instrument for Stereo Mapping (PRISM) for detecting elevations with high precision, Advanced Visible and Near Infrared Radiometer type 2 (AVNIR-2) for observing land coverage highly accurately, and Phased Array type L-band Synthetic Aperture Radar (PALSAR) for observing land areas day and night regardless of atmospheric weather conditions.


Primary Mission of ALOS

Primary mission of ALOS is to make contributions to the following fields.

  • 01


  • 02

    Regional observation

  • 03

    Disaster monitoring

  • 04

    Resource surveying

  • 05

    Technology development