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At the heart of the remote sensing industry

Remote Sensing Technology Center of Japan

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Research and Development

Always researching more ways to show you more of our earth

The field of remote sensing applications is extremely broad. In order to apply observation data to these fields, it is necessary to conduct a wide range of research activities ranging from fundamental research on the observation of target objects to applied research corresponding to application needs, including combination with other information sources. There is also a need to develop technologies for the storage and processing of data obtained through satellite observation, as well as application technology and systems for data usage.

RESTEC has continued to conduct research ranging from fundamental research such as studies on the reflective properties of target observation objects, to applied research in the areas of environmental monitoring and management of forests, water resources, the atmosphere, and oceans, food safety and security, disaster prevention, development of information on national land and infrastructure, and other fields of data application. At the same time, it is engaged in the development of calibration technologies such as radiometric and geometric calibration of observation data, the development of ground systems for the reception, processing, and storage of satellite data, as well as the development of software such as data application systems that incorporate the latest trends in technology, including Open GIS Consortium (OGC) and International Organization for Standardization (ISO). In addition, it is engaged in the development of remote sensing equipment.

In the future, RESTEC aims to keep up these research and development activities, and contribute to the development of remote sensing by harnessing the experience it has built up thus far.

Extraction of ground subsidence area through dierential interferometry analysis

We conduct research and development on high-precision measurement methods for ground and slope movements that can not be recognized by the human eye.

The figure shows an example of the extraction of ground subsidence area through differential interferometry analysis using synthetic aperture radar (SAR). We can see the extracted surface images of ground subsidence and landslide that occurred around the coalmine. This method facilitates the periodic measurement of ground subsidence over a wide area, with centimeter accuracy.

Image extraction of inundated regions through combined analysis by SAR and optical sensor

We conduct research and development on the analysis method and its application derived from combination usage of SAR and optical sensor.

The figure shows the tsunami-inundated region extracted from SAR image, based on an analysis using hyperspectral sensor. Harnessing the characteristics of optical and SAR sensors, we can make it possible to extract the tsunami-inundated region over a wide area based on such combined analysis.

Algorithm research and development

RESTEC has conducted research and development on algorithms used to create high-resolution and high-precision digital surface models (DSM) based on stereo observation images obtained from the PRISM sensor mounted on ALOS. Using this software, it is possible to create highly precise and accurate DSM from three-directional vision (or two-directional vision) data obtained from the PRISM sensor.

In addition to the 3D display of satellite images using DSM, various other forms of applications are also possible, including the estimation of flood damage.

Research and development of satellite reception and processing facilities

The Geo-Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency (Public Organization “GISTDA” ), Thailand has commissioned RESTEC to add ALOS reception, processing, and distribution functions to existing earth observation station facilities owned by GISTDA. As a result of RESTEC’s efforts, it is now possible for these earth station to receive, record, store, process, and distribute data upon the issuance of ALOS observation requests. The station has also been enabled to carry out advanced processing of data.

Calibration and Validation of Satellite Observation Data

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Measurement of on-site data (land surface reflectance) on a desert in Nevada, United States

We carry out comprehensive validation of data through various methods. These include geometric calibration, which ensures the positional precision of satellite images, radiometric calibration, which ensures precision in the degree of brightness of images, and analysis of measurements of on-site data, which ensures the precision of estimations of physical quantities. Through these means, we provide assurance for the quality of satellite observation data.