Written by Leandro Gonzalez
Agency/Company Operating the Sensor
Japanese Earth observing satellite program. Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).
ALOS (Advanced Land Observing Satellite) was a satellite launched in January 24th 2006 by the Japanese Earth Observing Satellite program (Figure 1). The satellite carries three different sensors. AVNIR2 is a multispectral sensor with four spectral bands in the visible and near-infrared region of the electromagnetic spectrum. Its spatial resolution is 10 meters. The purpose of the sensor was to acquire data for precise land coverage observation. The other two sensors found in ALOS were; PRISM, which contained one panchromatic band (0.52-0.77 µm), and PALSAR, with a Synthetic Aperture Radar L-band at a frequency of 1.3 GHz.
This sensor is no longer operational. The satellite suffered a power anomaly on April 22nd 2011. JAXA stopped the onboard transmitter of the satellite on May 12th 2011.
AVNIR-2 had four bands (blue, green, red, and near-infrared). It had a radiometric resolution of 8-bit and a recurrent period of 46 days. ALOS (the satellite carrying AVNIR-2) was orbiting at approximately 692km (above the equator) with an inclination of 98.2 degrees.
Cost, Acquisition, Licensing
AVNIR-2 imagery can be downloaded as GeoTiff. GeoTiff files can be easily uploaded into GIS software such as ArcGIS. The file size for a single 10m band is approximately 58MB.
Imagery analysis software packages such as ERDAS Imagine and ENVI can open GeoTiff files. AVNIR-2 imagery can also be opened directly in ArcGIS.
Examples of Rangeland Uses
Bagan et al. 2012. Evaluated the potential for land cover classification of AVNIR-2 images in combination with PALSAR imagery.
Chu et al. 2010. Used AVNIR-2 data to create land use maps for Lhasa, Tibet, China.
ALOS Satellite website on JAXA http://www.eorc.jaxa.jp/ALOS/en/about/about_index.htm
Satellite Imaging Corporation http://www.satimagingcorp.com/satellite-sensors/alos.html
Bagan H, Kinoshita T, and Yamagata Y. 2012. Combination of AVNIR-2, PALSAR, and Polarimetric Parameters for Land Cover Classification. In IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON GEOSCIENCE AND REMOTE SENSING. 50(4): 1318-1328.
Chu D, Zhang YL, Bianba C, Liu LS. 2010. Land use dynamics in Lhasa area, Tibetan Plateau. In JOURNAL OF GEOGRAPHICAL SCIENCES . 2(6): 899-912.