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Japan announces open sharing of radar satellite data

At GEO Week 2019, Ms. Sasaki, Parliamentary Vice-Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan announced that the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) will be providing open access to information and data from a suite of their radar satellites.

“Japan will provide free and open access to the wide-swathe observation data from the L-band radar satellites, such as ALOS (ALOS/AVINIR-2, PALSAR) and ALOS-2 (ALOS-2/ScanSAR),” stated Ms. Sasaki.

This data is key, particularly in the tropics, where cloud cover hinders optical sensor observation. In addition, radar satellites provide data for historical time series for various decision-making purposes.

Since the 1990’s, Japan has published long-term archived data from other Earth observation satellites, such as GCOM-W observing Water Cycle, GCOM-C observing atmosphere, terrestrial and ocean, and GPM observing precipitation. This data is essential for the GEO community and beyond, and contributes to broad range of societal benefits.

Japan has been an active member of the GEO community since the beginning of GEO in 2005, and Japan co-organized the 12th AOGEO Symposium in Canberra, 2-4 November hosted by Geoscience Australia and the GEO Secretariat.

This year, AOGEO participants discussed how to scale up successful Earth observation activities for all of Asia Oceania and discussed new cross-sectoral efforts in the Integrated Priority Studies (IPS) activity and the value of regional cooperation as a means to address global issues. Organizing this symposium every year is one of Japan’s key contribution to GEO, to regional development, and to promoting the use of Earth observations.

More details about the open data sharing announcement will follow shortly.

Read the full statement from Japan on the GEO Week 2019 website.