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Remote Sensing Technology Center of Japan

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PALSAR (Phased Array type L-band Synthetic Aperture Radar)

PALSAR is an active microwave sensor using L-band frequency, provides higher performance than the JERS-1’s synthetic aperture radar (SAR). It enables to conduct cloud-free and day-and-night land observation.

PALSAR has fine resolution in a conventional mode, plus Scan Sar mode that can extract a 250 to 350km width of SAR images at the expense of spatial resolution. It is utilized to make DEM and to monitor designated area.

Image observed by PALSAR

Above image is observed by PALSAR on 2006/02/15 (22:16), when ALOS is passing over HIGO waterway from south to north.

The image on the left is a bird’s eye view from Izu Peninsula to Mr. Fuji, using elevation information data of Geography Survey Institute. Another enlarged image of Mt. Fuji on the right below, topography of Osawanada, western part of the summit, and other parts are clearly appears.

PALSAR is a synthetic aperture radar using microwave, so that it can observe regardless of weather or time of the day. This image is also taken during nighttime observation. Although there had been an occasional rain at that time, PALSAR successfully took a clear image.

PALSAR Major Characteristics

Fine Scan mode
Center Frequency 1270MHz(L-band)
Chirp Bandwidth 28MHz 14MHz
Polarization HH or VV HH+HV or VV+VH
Incident angle 8~60°
Range Resolution 7~44m 14~88m
Observation Swath 40~70km
Bit Length 5 bits
Data rate 240Mbps
NE sigma zero
(Valid for off-nadir angle 34.3 deg)
< -23dB (Swath Width 70km)
< -25dB (Swath Width 60km)
S/A
(Valid for off-nadir angle 34.3 deg)
> 16dB (Swath Width 70km)
> 21dB (Swath Width 60km)

S/A level may deteriorate due to engineering changes in PALSAR.

Radiometric accuracy scene 1dB / orbit: 1.5 dB
size of Antenna azimuth :8.9m x elevation :3.1m

Note: PALSAR cannot observe the areas beyond 87.8 deg. north latitude and 75.9 deg. south latitude when the off-nadir angle is 41.5 deg.

SAR mode
Center Frequency 1270MHz(L-band)
Chirp Bandwidth 14MHz、28MHz
Polarization HH or VV
Incident angle 18~43°
Range Resolution 100m(multi look)
Observation Swath 250~350km
Bit Length 5 bits
Data rate 120Mbps、240Mbps
NE sigma zero
(Valid for off-nadir angle 34.1 deg)
< -25dB
S/A
(Valid for off-nadir angle 34.1 deg)
> 21dB

S/A level may deteriorate due to engineering changes in PALSAR.

Radiometric accuracy scene 1dB / orbit: 1.5 dB
size of Antenna azimuth :8.9m x elevation :3.1m

Note: PALSAR cannot observe the areas beyond 87.8 deg. north latitude and 75.9 deg. south latitude when the off-nadir angle is 41.5 deg.

Polarimetric mode(Experimental mode)

Due to power consumption, the operation time will be limited.

Center Frequency 1270MHz(L-band)
Chirp Bandwidth 14MHz
Polarization HH+HV+VH+VV
Incident angle 8~30°
Range Resolution 24~89m
Observation Swath 20~65km
Bit Length 3 or 5bits
Data rate 240Mbps
NE sigma zero
(Valid for off-nadir angle 21.5 deg)
< -29dB
S/A
(Valid for off-nadir angle 21.5 deg)
> 19dB

S/A level may deteriorate due to engineering changes in PALSAR.

Radiometric accuracy scene 1dB / orbit: 1.5 dB
size of Antenna azimuth :8.9m x elevation :3.1m

Note: PALSAR cannot observe the areas beyond 87.8 deg. north latitude and 75.9 deg. south latitude when the off-nadir angle is 41.5 deg.