A new understanding from space

24 January 2006

A new source of satellite data will be available to industry and government with the launch of the Advanced Land Observing Satellite (ALOS) on 24 January 2006.

Visualisation of ALOS satellite orbiting Earth. (Image taken from ALOS site at http://alos.jaxa.jp/index-e.html)

A five-year Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), negotiated during the first half of 2005, grants Geoscience Australia the data distribution rights for Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and the South Pacific Islands.

The new satellite will provide high quality, low cost Earth observation data for topographical mapping, disaster & environmental monitoring, and climate change studies. ALOS will provide an alternative source of data and a level of back-up should the Landsat 5 satellite fail. Currently, a number of government and community agencies in Australia rely on Landsat satellite data to deliver their program objectives.

ALOS data will be available to users approximately four to six months after the launch, once the initial calibration and validation tests are completed. ALOS is designed with a three year life but carries sufficient fuel to last for five years.

Topic contact: media@ga.gov.au Last updated: October 4, 2013