Advanced Visible and Near Infrared Radiometer type 2

Written by Leandro Gonzalez

Other Names:


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.

Similar Sensors

spot_5 , rapideye , Landsat Thematic Mapper 5 (TM5)

Sensor Specifications

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.

Spectral Bands/Wavelengths

Band Resolution Wavelength µm Description
1 10m 0.42-0.50 Blue
2 10m 0.52-0.60 Green
3 10m 0.61-0.69 Red
4 10m 0.76-0.89 Near Infrared

Cost, Acquisition, Licensing

Images can be acquired from the JAXA website or from EOLI website. Images are available for free. Users need to create a user account free of charge to be able to download imagery. Imagery can also be purchased at ALOS-Pasco A single scene has an approximate cost of $670. For licensing and terms of use please visit the following link:

Image Format

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.

Software/Hardware Requirements

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.

Additional Information

ALOS Satellite website on JAXA

Satellite Imaging Corporation


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.

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