At the heart of the remote sensing industry

Remote Sensing Technology Center of Japan


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RESTEC provides solutions that match the needs of its customers, based on the knowhow it has accumulated through the reception, processing, analysis, and distribution of earth observation data within Japan and overseas.

Today, Japan is forced to confront many problems not only in the form of abnormal weather conditions, but also in the form of various natural disasters. RESTEC aims to contribute to the Japanese community and to the lives of the people by utilizing its remote sensing technologies in a wide range of areas, including the agriculture, forestry, and fishery industries, environment, disaster prevention, map information, and education.

Water resource management

The characteristics of rainfall are changing as a consequence of climate changes that have arisen as a result of global warming, and much importance is placed on the impact of these changes on water resources. By carrying out rainfall observation using satellites, there are expectations that we will be able to obtain information on rainfall systems around the globe. JAXA has released information on rainfall distribution for the world using multiple satellites, including the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission satellite (TRMM), and is taking steps to promote research in areas such as flood forecasting.

RESTEC provides support for the creation and analysis of rainfall distribution data sets.

Disaster prevention, and maps


With the aim of providing support for recovery in the aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake, RESTEC, collaborated with NTT Data Corporation, drew up satellite image maps of the Tohoku coastal region in PDF format. These maps contain coordinates (latitude and longitude) information, and were produced by superimposing map information, such as information on roads and public facilities, on satellite imagery. This is expected to come into use as a map of areas affected by the disaster, and to be utilized in information sharing among the concerned parties.

Facility management and maps


Satellite data, in particular high-resolution images, is utilized in the management of various facilities, such as ports, airports, and lifelines. For instance, electricity-related facilities make use of high-resolution satellite QuickBird images from the United States to check on the condition of structures in substation facilities, as well as on the condition of transmission lines. This data thus plays a useful role in visual verification and management.

Food safety and security


The stable supply of food is an important issue that ties in with daily life. In ALOS/PALSAR data, it is possible to investigate the changes in brightness accompanying the growth of paddy. This enables the estimation of rice acreage, and this statistic, in turn, makes it possible to forecast the volume of the harvest. Information pertaining to forecasts on the volume of paddy rice can play a useful role in various food policies, such as in the prediction of supply and demand of food in the future. RESTEC has in fact estimated location of the paddy plantation in Khon Kaen Province in northeast Thailand.

The fishing industry and environmental conservation


Recent years have seen the emergence of problems in the fishing industry, such as a decline in the number of fishes as a result of a growth in fishing activities. Among information obtained from optical sensors’ multi-band data sets is that on shallow water regions, and this can be applied for production management by using it for such matters as studies on the distribution of coral reefs and seaweed beds or the cultivation of oysters and seaweed. By subjecting ALOS/AVNIR-2 data to atmospheric correction and in-water algorithm correction, followed by classification processing, it is possible to see the distribution of seaweed beds. This is useful for environmental conservation and for obtaining information on aquatic resources.

Forest monitoring


Forest monitoring is an important theme in the sustainable development of the Earth. It is possible to determine the condition of forests through the color composite display of ALOS/PALSAR images taken over multiple time periods. For instance, by applying this technology to overlap an ALOS/PALSAR image of tropical rainforests in the Amazon basin in South America with GIS data, it is possible to determine the location of logging areas. This is useful in the conservation of forests and the prevention of illegal logging. The areas shown in brown in the figure show past logging areas, while the areas in red show areas that have been recently logged (logging may also be in progress).

Digital Surface Model (DSM)


The PRISM/DSM is one of RESTEC’s value-added products. DSM refers to Digital Surface Model. The PRISM/DSM data sets are created using ALOS/PRISM stereo-pair images. The diagram shows a three-dimensional representation of a candidate region for the introduction of windmills, obtained in a preliminary survey for the introduction of windmills that involved the use of a digital wind prediction model (RIAM-COMPACT) developed by the Institute of Applied Mechanics of Kyushu University. Here, the PRISM/DSM was used as topographical information in the preliminary survey, and the preliminary survey was concluded effectively.

By utilizing this PRISM/DSM data sets, it is possible to recreate detailed topography even for areas where it is diffiult to conduct field surveys in.