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ALOS Satellite

Japan’s 2.5-m satellite ALOS collected a global archive of panchromatic stereo and tri-stereo imagery used to map land use change and topography.

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ALOS Satellite Imagery Samples

ALOS 2.5-m Panchromatic – Boulder, CO, USA; February 23, 2011
ALOS 2.5-m Panchromatic – Boulder, CO, USA; February 23, 2011

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The ALOS Advantage

Unrivaled Stereo Archive
ALOS amassed a global archive of high-quality, 2.5-meter resolution stereo and tri-stereo imagery between 2006 and 2011.

Change Detection
From urban development to disaster mitigation, historical ALOS data provides a baseline to measure change over time.

Overview & HistoryALOS SpecificationsPricing

The Advanced Land Observing Satellite (ALOS) was launched on January 24, 2006 from Tanegashima Space Center, Japan. The satellite was operated by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). ALOS’ on-board PRISM sensor was dedicated to collecting panchromatic stereo and tri-stereo imagery at 2.5-meter (m) resolution with a swath width of 35-kilometers.

ALOS was instrumental in mapping the disastrous effects of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan; as well as in the creation of NTT Data’s global DEM product, AW3D. On April 22, 2011, ALOS ceased collecting new imagery when JAXA lost communication with the satellite.

Launch Details
  • Satellite Lifetime: January 24, 2006 01:49 UTC (launched) – May 12, 2011 (last image)
  • Vehicle: Japanese H-IIA rocket
  • Site: Tanegashima Space Center, Japan

ALOS Components
  • Dimensions: 8.9-m x 27.4-m x 6.2-m; 39.8 kg
  • Onboard Storage Capacity: 768 gigabytes
  • Ground Communication Systems:
    • Imagery downlink – 120 Mb per second
  • Stereo Imaging System: PRISM (Panchromatic Remote-sensing Instrument for Stereo Mapping)

Orbit Characteristics
  • Altitude: 692 km
  • Period: 98.51 minutes
  • Direction: sun-synchronous orbit, north to south (across the lit side of Earth)
  • Equatorial Crossing Time: 10:30 local time (approximate; across lit side of Earth)
  • Revisit Frequency: 5 days, global average

Imaging System
  • Spectral Bands: panchromatic only
  • Sensor Resolution: 2.5-m panchromatic at nadir; plus forward and backward stereo; vast majority of images in stereo and/or tri-stereo
  • Spectral Band Wavelength Range: (in nm)
    • Panchromatic – 520 to 770
  • Dynamic Range: 8-bits

Collection Capabilities
  • Footprint Width: 35 km (at nadir) in triplet mode (forward, backward and nadir)
  • Georeferenced Horizontal Accuracy: 200-m CE95 (global average, dependent on terrain)

Below is the least expensive, panchromatic ALOS data offered. Prices increase for stereo and data processing. Note that volume discounts are available.

For an exact quote, please contact our Sales Team at

Interested in an accuracy assessment of DEMs extracted from ALOS stereo imagery?

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