Alaska Satellite Facility - Distributed Active Archive Center

ALOS PALSAR

ALOS PALSAR Satellite

ALOS Phased Array type L-band Synthetic Aperture Radar

 

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 (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).

Logo of JAXA | Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency
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Overview

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 table below.

 

Read More on the JAXA website.

Overview

Dataset PropertyFine ResolutionFine Resolution, additionalScanSARPolarimetric
Temporal Coverage2006-20112006-20112006-20112006-2011
Spatial CoverageNorth, Central, and South America - Complete
Outside the Americas - Partial
North, Central, and South America - Complete
Outside the Americas - Partial
North, Central, and South America - Complete
Outside the Americas - Partial
North, Central, and South America - Complete
Outside the Americas - Partial
Beam ModeFBS, DSNFBDWB1, WB2PLR
Center FrequencyL-Band (1.27 GHz)L-Band (1.27 GHz)L-Band (1.27 GHz)L-Band (1.27 GHz)
PolarizationHH or VVHH+HV or VV+VHHH or VVHH+HV or VV+VH
Spatial Resolution10 m20 m100 m30 m
Swath Width70 km70 km250-350 km30 km
Off-Nadir Angle34.3° (default)34.3° (default)27.1° (default)21.5° (default)
LicenseSee License and Data Citation tabSee License and Data Citation tabSee License and Data Citation tabSee License and Data Citation tab
Download infoData DiscoveryData DiscoveryData DiscoveryData Discovery
File formatL1.0,L1.1,L1.5,L2.2,
RTC_LOW_RES,
RTC_HI_RES,KMZ
L1.0,L1.1,L1.5,L2.2,
RTC_LOW_RES,
RTC_HI_RES,KMZ
L1.0,L1.1,L1.5,L2.2,
RTC_LOW_RES,
RTC_HI_RES,KMZ
L1.0,L1.1,L1.5,L2.2,
RTC_LOW_RES,
RTC_HI_RES,KMZ
ProviderJapan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).
Date published:2006-20112006-20112006-20112006-2011

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.

 

 

Coverage Maps

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

Expand the sections below to view content.  Access the full content on a single page by clicking the button.

User Guide/Technical Information

PALSAR Documentation

PALSAR Documentation

 

 

NameDescription
ALOS Data Users Handbook, 2008ALOS Data Users Handbook, 2008Overview of the ALOS Project and related technical information on satellites and land systems
ALOS User GuideOverview, products, product format, operations
PALSAR Product FormatDetailed L1.1 and L1.5 product format description
Detailed L1.0 product format description
PALSAR RTC Information

 

For information and documentation regarding the ALOS PALSAR radiometric terrain corrected (RTC) products available from ASF, please go to:

https://asf.alaska.edu/data-sets/derived-data-sets/alos-palsar-rtc/alos-palsar-radiometric-terrain-correction/

 

Software Tools

Software Tools

 

 

NameDescription
MapReady, ASFTerrain correct, geocode, and apply polarimetric decompositions to multi-pol SAR data​
Convert to Vector, ASFTransform point or scene information to formats compatible with Google Earth, GIS, and more​
Other Software ToolsAccess a variety of tools for viewing, analyzing, and processing radar data​
GIS Platforms

GIS Platforms

 

 

NameDescription
QGIS: open sourceWindows, Mac, Linux, BSD
ArcGIS: commercial softwareWindows, Linux

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

 

 

Processors

Processors – PALSAR

 

PALSAR Processor versions used to process data at ASF

 

Processing DatesProcessor VersionJAXA Calibration Result as of (MM-DD-YYYY)​
April 18, 2007- April 26, 20073.0010-23-2006

3-29-2007
April 27, 2007- March 17, 20084.003-29-2007

9-28-2007
March 18, 2008 – June 12, 20084.039-28-2007
June 13, 2008 – February 3, 20095.009-28-2007
February 4, 2008 – ?5.049-28-2007

7-1-2009
September, 20136.079-6-2011

 

Processors – Optical

 

Optical Processor versions used to process data at ASF

 

Processing DatesProcessor VersionJAXA Calibration Result as of (MM-DD-YYYY)​
April 18, 2007- April 26, 20073.0010-23-2006

3-29-2007
April 27, 2007- March 30, 20094.013-29-2007

9-28-2007
March 31, 2009 – February 3, 20105.029-28-07

7-1-2009
February 4, 2010 – January 18, 20115.097-1-2009
January 18, 2011 – Present6.037-1-2009

ASF PALSAR Products

ALOS PALSAR Dataset Processing Levels

 

ProductTypeFormatOpen Access
L1.0Unprocessed/rawn/aFind Data
L1.5Georeferenced amplitude imageCEOSFind Data
RTCRadiometrically and terrain-corrected geocoded GeoTIFF imageGeoTIFFFind Data

 

ALOS PALSAR DOIs

 

DatasetDOI
L1.0_PALSAR10.5067/J4JVCFDDPEW1
L1.1_PALSAR10.5067/PAFUZQHBZF3A
L1.5_PALSAR10.5067/NXY378J3DFZQ

ASF DOI List

License and Data Citation

 

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 agrees to the following ALOS PALSAR Standard Product End User License Agreement. The End User will be deemed to have accepted and agreed to the terms and conditions if the End User starts using ALOS PALSAR data including but not limited to downloading, installing, manipulation or other action.

Section 1 Definitions

1. “End User” means the person, legal business entity, public entity or any other legal entity who obtains the Product and is considered to have accepted this End User License Agreement. In the case of a public entity, the End User is deemed to be only the part, division, etc. of the public entity located at the address to which the Product is supplied, unless otherwise agreed upon by ASF in writing and in advance.

Standard Product – Level 1 Data (CEOS format) PALSAR Level 1.0, 1.1, 1.5

Derivative Work Product – A processed product using the Standard Product which retains the original pixel structure and can be converted back to the original data or a processed product that does not retain the original pixel structure and cannot be converted back to the original data , with the exception of value-added products

Value Added Product (VAP) – A modified Standard or Derivative Work Product with high-level processing that cannot be converted back to the original product. The high-level processing includes data analysis or combining multiple-satellite data, image processing based on external information, and physical quantity conversion.

2. “Product” means any ALOS satellite data product supplied by ASF.  Product is classified as standard product, Derivative-work Product and Value Added Product (VAP). Definition of the three product types is shown below.

3. “JAXA” means the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency.

4. “METI” means the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry.

5. “Related Parties” means the parties that have been involved in the creation, production, distribution or delivery of the Product.

Section 2 Permitted Uses

1. The End User shall utilize the Product for peaceful purposes only.

2. The End User may redistribute the Product provided the data source is attributed to JAXA/METI.

Section 3 Prohibited Uses

1. The End User shall not use the Product other than for peaceful purposes.

2. The End User shall not delete, obscure, remove or alter any copyright notice that is contained in or appears on the Product.

 Section 4 Intellectual Property Right and Copyright Notice

1. The End User confirms that JAXA and METI own all intellectual property rights, including copyrights, for ALOS PALSAR Standard and Derivative-work products.

2. The End User owns all intellectual property rights, including copyrights, which result from the End User’s act of interpretation, adaptation, authorship or any other work on the Standard Product resulting in the creation of a VAP. All VAP products must be accompanied with the copyright notice.

3. The End User agrees that any embodiment of the Product permitted under this agreement shall contain the following copyright notice.  The copyright notice shall be prominently displayed and the [Year] field correctly filled with a numerical value corresponding to the year of raw data acquisition.

Copyright Notice

Standard Product – ©JAXA,METI [Year]
    Derivative Work Product – ©JAXA,METI [Year]
    Value Added Product – Includes Material ©JAXA,METI [Year]

Section 5 Limited Warranty – Disclaimer

1. Neither ASF nor the Related Parties, if any, warrants that the Product is free of bugs, errors, defects or omissions.

2. The Product is provided as is with no warranty of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.

3. ASF and the Related Parties shall have no liability to the End User for any damage suffered by the End User or any third party, as a result of using ALOS PALSAR products. This damage is including but not limited to consequential loss and lost earnings.

Section 6 Modification of this Agreement

ASF reserves the right to modify this agreement if necessary and the modified agreement will govern. In the case of modification ASF will announce on ASF internet site.

Section 7 Governing Law and Jurisdiction

This End User License Agreement shall be governed by the laws of the United States of America.


 

Citing ALOS PALSAR Data or Imagery

Cite datasets in publications such as journal papers, articles, presentations, posters, and websites. Include the DOI when available (each RTC ALOS PALSAR dataset processed by ASF has an assigned DOI). Please send copies of, or links to, published works citing data, imagery, or tools accessed through ASF to [email protected] with “New Publication” on the subject line.

Type of DatasetFormatExample
ALOS PALSAR L1.0 or L1.5Dataset: ©JAXA/METI ALOS PALSAR [dataset name] [year of data acquisition]. Accessed through ASF DAAC, [link to website or insert comma and spell out in print: https://asf.alaska.edu] [day/month/year of data access]Dataset: © JAXA/METI ALOS PALSAR L1.0 2007. Accessed through ASF DAAC 11 June 2015.

Crediting ALOS PALSAR Imagery

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

TypeFormatExample
Primary or Derived Imagery©JAXA/METI [year of data acquisition].© JAXA/METI 2007.
Value Added Imagery[creator credit, year created]; Includes Material © JAXA/METI [year of data acquisition].ASF DAAC 2014; Includes Material © JAXA/METI 2007.

ALOS PALSAR Dataset DOIs

DatasetDOI
L1.0_PALSAR10.5067/J4JVCFDDPEW1
L1.1_PALSAR10.5067/PAFUZQHBZF3A
L1.5_PALSAR10.5067/NXY378J3DFZQ

ASF Dataset DOI List

 

Discover ALOS PALSAR data

ALOS PALSAR RTC data are open data and may be downloaded using these ASF and NASA Discovery services:

Data Discovery ToolLink
ASF Vertex Data SearchVertex
Python Search Moduleasf_search
ASF Search APIASF Search API
NASA Earthdata SearchEarthdata Search

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