ALOS PALSAR – Documents and Tools

PALSAR

Name Description
ALOS Data Users Handbook, 2008 Overview of the ALOS Project and related technological information on satellites and land systems
ALOS User Guide Overview, products, product format, operations
PALSAR Product Format Detailed L1.1 and L1.5 product format description
PALSAR Product Format
(a zip file will download)
Detailed L1.0 product format description

Radiometrically Terrain-Corrected (RTC)

Name Description
RTC Product Guide, 2015 Guide for radiometrically terrain-corrected products.
RTC Product Specification, 2014 This product format specification defines standard terrain-corrected products generated at ASF. It contains the definition for the ISO-compliant XML metadata.
RTC ATBD, 2015 Algorithm Theoretical Basis Document: Provides the theoretical background of the algorithms and processing flows used for the generation of terrain-corrected products processed by ASF.

Software Tools

Name Description
MapReady, ASF Terrain correct, geocode, and apply polarimetric decompositions to multi-pol SAR data
Convert to Vector, ASF Transform point or scene information to formats compatible with Google Earth, GIS, and more
SAR Training Processor, ASF We apologize, but this tool is no longer available
Bulk Download, ASF Bulk download from the ASF datapool via Metalink files
Other Software Tools Access a variety of tools for viewing, analyzing, and processing radar data

GIS Platforms

RTC GeoTIFF products are readily visualized in GIS programs such as ArcGIS or QGIS.

Name Description
QGIS: open source Windows, Mac, Linux, BSD
ArcGIS: commercial software Windows, Linux

Processors

PALSAR Processor versions used to process data at ASF
Processing Dates Processor Version JAXA Calibration Result as of (MM-DD-YYYY)
April 18, 2007- April 26, 2007 3.00 10-23-2006
3-29-2007
April 27, 2007- March 17, 2008 4.00 3-29-2007
9-28-2007
March 18, 2008 - June 12, 2008 4.03 9-28-2007
June 13, 2008 - February 3, 2009 5.00 9-28-2007
February 4, 2008 - ? 5.04 9-28-2007
7-1-2009
September, 2013 6.07 9-6-2011
Optical Processor versions used to process data at ASF
Processing Dates Processor Version JAXA Calibration Result as of (MM-DD-YYYY)
April 18, 2007- April 26, 2007 3.00 10-23-2006
3-29-2007
April 27, 2007- March 30, 2009 4.01 3-29-2007
9-28-2007
March 31, 2009 - February 3, 2010 5.02 9-28-07
7-1-2009
February 4, 2010 - January 18, 2011 5.09 7-1-2009
January 18, 2011 - Present 6.03 7-1-2009
palsar

ALOS PALSAR – About

ALOS Phased Array type L-band Synthetic Aperture Radar

Mission

From 2006 to 2011, PALSAR’s L-band synthetic aperture radar (SAR) yielded detailed, all-weather, day-and-night observation, as well as repeat-pass interferometry. PALSAR data are from multiple observation modes with variable polarization, resolution, swath width, and off-nadir angle.

PALSAR was one of three instruments on the Advanced Land Observing Satellite-1 (ALOS), also known as DAICHI, developed to contribute to the fields of mapping, precise regional land-coverage observation, disaster monitoring, and resource surveying. ALOS was a mission of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).

ASF PALSAR Products

Product Type Format Open Access
L1.0 Unprocessed/raw n/a Find Data
L1.5 Georeferenced amplitude image CEOS Find Data
RTC Radiometrically and terrain-corrected geocoded GeoTIFF image GeoTIFF Find Data

Note 1: L1.0 and L1.5 products may have originated from older JAXA processor versions.

Note 2: Users may request L1.1 data – if not already available through Vertex or the ASF API – by contacting our User Support Office, [email protected]. Please provide a list of the granule names you wish to have processed.
L1.1 processing is not possible for data acquired in ScanSAR beam mode (WB1 and WB2).

How to Obtain PALSAR Data

Researchers can download open-access ALOS PALSAR data from the NASA-sponsored ASF DAAC.

PALSAR Technical Specs — Beam Modes

PALSAR has two fine beam modes: single polarization (FBS) and dual polarization (FBD), as well as quad polarization, also known as polarimetric mode (PLR). ScanSAR wide beam (WB1, WB2) operates with a considerable loss of resolution. See the table below.

palsar
Fine Resolution ScanSAR Polarimetric
Beam Mode FBS, DSN FBD WB1, WB2 PLR
Center Frequency L-Band (1.27 GHz)
Polarization HH or VV HH+HV or VV+VH HH or VV HH+HV+VV+VH
Spatial Resolution 10 m 20 m 100 m 30 m
Swath Width 70 km 70 km 250-350 km 30 km
Off-Nadir Angle 34.3° (default) 27.1° (default) 21.5° (default)

PALSAR cannot observe the areas beyond 87.8 degrees north latitude and 75.9 degrees south latitude when the off-nadir angle is 41.5 degrees.

Read more on the JAXA website.

ALOS PALSAR Global Radar Imagery, 2006-2011

ALOS PALSAR

ALOS PALSAR Global Radar Imagery, 2006-2011

Additional coverage maps from the ALOS data collection. 

ALOS PALSAR – About

ALOS Phased Array type L-band Synthetic Aperture Radar Mission From 2006 to 2011, PALSAR’s L-band synthetic aperture radar (SAR) yielded detailed, all-weather, day-and-night observation, as well as repeat-pass interferometry. PALSAR data…

ALOS PALSAR – Coverage Maps

ALOS L1.5 FBS Coverage Map ALOS L1.5 FBD Coverage Map ALOS L1.5 Wide Beam Coverage Map ALOS L1.5 Polarimetric Coverage Map ALOS L1.1 Coverage Map ALOS RTC Coverage Map…

ALOS PALSAR – Documents and Tools

PALSAR Name Description ALOS Data Users Handbook, 2008 Overview of the ALOS Project and related technological information on satellites and land systems ALOS User Guide Overview, products, product format, operations…

ALOS PALSAR – Terms and Conditions

ALOS PALSAR Standard Product License Agreement The Alaska Satellite Facility (ASF) grants the End User use of Advanced Land Observing Satellite (ALOS) PALSAR data if the End User accepts and…

Artist's view of JERS-1 (image credit: JAXA)

JERS-1

JERS-1 SAR Summary

Mission

The JERS-1 (Japanese Earth Resources Satellite) SAR is a high-resolution, all-weather imaging radar. Its primary objective was gathering data on global land masses while conducting observation for land surveys, agriculture, forestry, fisheries, environmental protection, disaster prevention, and coastal surveillance.

Launch

JERS-1 was launched by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), aboard a Japanese H-1 launcher, to provide global and repetitive observations of the environment using techniques that allow imaging to take place in all weather conditions.

Achievement

The JERS-1 Global Forest Mapping Program mapped important forests of the world: Southeast Asia, Africa, Central America, South America (Amazon Basin), and Boreal North America. ASF distributes the Amazon and Boreal forest SAR mosaics.

Data Products

restricted data access agreement is required for researchers to get Level 0, Level 1, or SLC data.

Dataset Description:

  • SAR — synthetic aperture radar
  • 1992-1998
  • Imagery coverage is worldwide
  • Datapool contains ASF standard beam odd frames, as well as the first and last frame of each imaged swath
  • Mosaics of global rainforests and the boreal forest
Data Format:
  • CEOS — Level 0 and Level 1 framed

Downloadable Products:

  • Level 0 (Unprocessed/Raw Data)
  • Level 1 (amplitude imagery — processed images)
  • Mosaics — open access
    • Amazon Low Flood
    • Amazon High Flood
    • North America Winter Texture
    • North America Summer Texture
    • North America Summer Backscatter

Coverage map showing JERS-1 data in the ASF archive

JERS-1 Technical Specs

Standard Mode
Frequency/wavelength:​ 1.3 GHz L-band
Polarization:​ HH
Spatial Resolution 18 m
Swath Width 75 km
Off-Nadir Angle 35°

How to Cite JERS-1 Data Retrieved from ASF DAAC

Cite data in publications such as journal papers, articles, presentations, posters, and websites. Please send copies of, or links to, published works citing data, imagery, or tools accessed through ASF to [email protected] with “New Publication” on subject line.

Format Example
Dataset: JERS-1, JAXA [year of data acquisition]. Retrieved from ASF DAAC [day month year of data access]. Dataset: JERS-1, JAXA 1994. Retrieved from ASF DAAC 21 June 2015.

How to Cite JERS-1 Imagery

Include credit with each image shown in publications such as journal papers, articles, presentations, posters, and websites.

Format Example
© JAXA [year of data acquisition] © JAXA 1994

JERS-1 Datasets and DOIs

Dataset DOI
L0_JERS-1 10.5067/CRIS7FUD12QF
L1_JERS-1 10.5067/P882O8BV02R2
DC-8 Airborne Laboratory in flight - Image Credit: NASA Dryden Flight Research Center Photo Collection (http://www.dfrc.nasa.gov/gallery/photo/index.html)  NASA Photo: EC00-0050-1  Date February 2000

AIRSAR

AIRSAR was an all-weather imaging tool able to penetrate through clouds and collect data at night….

Artist's view of the ERS-2 spacecraft in orbit (image credit: ESA)

ERS-2

NASA’s provision of the European Space Agency’s (ESA) European Remote Sensing satellites (ERS-1 and ERS–2) Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) data archive via the ASF DAAC is now free and open by agreement between NASA and ESA….

ERS-1 artist's impression.   (image credit: ESA)

ERS-1

NASA’s provision of the European Space Agency’s (ESA) European Remote Sensing satellites (ERS-1 and ERS–2) Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) data archive via the ASF DAAC is now free and open by agreement between NASA and ESA….

Derived from data gathered by AMSR-E and QuikSCAT sensors

Wetlands MEaSUREs

Among the most biologically diverse of Earth’s ecosystems, wetlands cover only ∼5% of the Earth’s ice-free land surface but exert major impacts on global biogeochemistry, hydrology, and wildlife diversity….