ESA acquires Japanese ALOS satellite data
The Paris-based European Space Agency has, for the first time, acquired and processed images sent by Japan's four-ton Earth observation satellite.
The images sent by the advanced land observing satellite, or ALOS, include views of Italy, The Netherlands and Norway.
The ESA said it is supporting ALOS as a "Third Party Mission," which means the agency is utilizing its European facilities and expertise to acquire, process and distribute data from the satellite.
ALOS captured the image of Naples, Italy, with its Advanced Visible and Near Infrared Radiometer type-2 system, designed to chart land cover and vegetation in visible and near infrared spectral bands.
The images of The Netherlands and Norway were captured by the satellite's Phased Array type L-band Synthetic Aperture Radar instrument -- a microwave radar instrument that can acquire observations through any weather conditions.
ALOS was launched Jan. 24 into a 735-mile polar orbit.
Copyright 2006 by United Press International