Vexcel Corporation has been awarded a contract from JGI (Japan) to develop a processing system to calibrate images collected by PALSAR, Japan’s newest synthetic aperture radar sensor to be launched onboard the Advanced Land Observing Satellite (ALOS). The calibration process is necessary to ensure accuracy and adherence of the imagery to specifications prior to use. Under this contract, Vexcel will build on its existing calibration processing technology to create a system tailored to meet the specific calibration needs of the PALSAR instrument.
The PALSAR sensor is designed to allow day-and-night observations and is one of three instruments on ALOS-Japan’s successor mission to the now inactive JERS satellite. ALOS is scheduled to launch from the Tanegashima Space Center in 2004. In its conventional high-resolution mode, PALSAR will produce imagery up to ten-meters in resolution. The sensor will also include a ScanSAR mode to allow for observation of scenes up to 350 km in width and a multi-polarimetric mode to facilitate classification of ground characteristics.
The end user of the system is the Earth Remote Sensing Data Analysis Center (ERSDAC). ERSDAC previously acquired Vexcel’s SAR Data Processing System including Level 0, Level 1 and higher processors, and will use the new calibration system to support the calibration process.