At the heart of the remote sensing industry

Remote Sensing Technology Center of Japan




From daily meteorological observation to rapid communications, satellite data is more crucial than ever to protecting our way of life.

Our mission to protect people from disaster as a public infrastructure organization


The delivery of accurate information in a prompt manner is vital during a disaster. Satellite data has the potential to contribute tremendously here.

Thai satellite THEOS (optical sensor-type) worked with ALOS (PALSAR) to monitor the spread of damage from floods in Viet Nam’s Mekong River Delta in 2006. Utilizing the strengths of each system, data from the satellites was analyzed, organized and sent to the Viet Nam Government. This gave the Government a grasp of the situation, allowing it to directly keep citizens up to date using short text messages to mobile phones.

In this example, the ALOS image analysis was performed in Japan, but from a cost perspective it is certainly desirable for local disaster information systems to be harnessed as effectively as possible. Going forward, methods such as using satellite data to input necessary data into local systems, for example topographic data or precipitation data alone (see page to right), will grow in importance. The establishment of methods like these will enable the use of satellite data as public infrastructure.

Satellite data supplant the ground infrastructure


Many countries in Asia do not have terrestrial weather stations due to issues of cost and maintenance. It is possible for these countries to supplant the role of weather stations with satellite data in everything from daily weather forecasting to disaster response. The precipitation map (GSMaP) provided by JAXA (above, left) is created from the data of several satellites and predicts rainfall across the globe on an hourly basis.

The DSM (digital surface model) data above and to the right is from the PRISM aboard ALOS and has a resolution of 10 m. The combination of the DSM and the GSMaP is expected to be enormously useful for work to obtain an accurate picture of floodwaters and do modeling for flooding.

Infrastructure degradation can be monitored


ALOS PALSAR has the ability to monitor the state of large structures. The charts show vertical movement in a dam based on data from a satellite stationed directly to detect any phase differences from reflected microwaves. According to these two charts, we can see that from 2007 to 2010, the central part of the dam subsided. This matches the readings from GPS set up on the ground very closely and proves that a satellites can verify movements in large structures down to a few centimeters.

Data Provider:Public Works Research Institute Kokusai Kogyo co., Ltd