Alaska Satellite Facility
Delivering Remote Sensing Data Since 1991

ALOS Phased Array type L-band Synthetic Aperture Radar


From 2006 to 2011, PALSAR's L-band synthetic aperture radar (SAR) yielded detailed, all-weather, day-and-night observation, as well as repeat-pass interferometry. PALSAR data are from multiple observation modes with variable polarization, resolution, swath width, and off-nadir angle.

PALSAR was one of three instruments on the Advanced Land Observing Satellite-1 (ALOS), also known as DAICHI, developed to contribute to the fields of mapping, precise regional land-coverage observation, disaster monitoring, and resource surveying. ALOS was a mission of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).


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PALSAR Technical Specs — Beam Modes

Palsar has two fine beam modes: single polarization (FBS) and dual polarization (FBD), as well as quad polarization, also known as polarimetric mode (PLR). ScanSAR wide beam (WB1, WB2) operates with a considerable loss of resolution. See table below.

Synthetic aperture radar (SAR) PALSAR Technical Specs

PALSAR Beam Modes
Fine ResolutionScanSARPolarimetric
Center FrequencyL-Band (1.27 GHz)
PolarizationHH or VVHH+HV or VV+VHHH or VVHH+HV+VV+VH
Spatial Resolution10m20m100m30m
Swath Width70km70km250-350km30km
Off-Nadir Angle34.3° (default)27.1° (default)21.5° (default)

PALSAR cannot observe the areas beyond 87.8 degrees north latitude and 75.9 degrees south latitude when the off-nadir angle is 41.5 degrees.

Read more on the JAXA website.

Get SAR Data

Get SAR Data

Select and download SAR data online using Vertex.

Use the ASF API for downloading SAR data via a command line.