Four programs, i.e. TRMM, ADEOS2, ASTER, and ALOS are going on in Japanese Earth Observation programs.
TRMM and ASTER are operating well, and TRMM operation will be continued to 2009. ADEOS2 was failed, but
AMSR-E on Aqua is operating. ALOS (Advanced Land Observing Satellite) was successfully launched on 24th Jan.
2006. ALOS carries three instruments, i.e., PRISM (Panchromatic Remote Sensing Instrument for Stereo Mapping),
AVNIR-2 (Advanced Visible and Near Infrared Radiometer), and PALSAR (Phased Array L band Synthetic Aperture
Radar). PRISM is a 3 line panchromatic push broom scanner with 2.5m IFOV. AVNIR-2 is a 4 channel multi spectral
scanner with 10m IFOV. PALSAR is a full polarimetric active phased array SAR. PALSAR has many observation
modes including full polarimetric mode and scan SAR mode. After the unfortunate accident of ADEOS2, JAXA still
have plans of Earth observation programs. Next generation satellites will be launched in 2008-2013 timeframe. They are
GOSAT (Greenhouse Gas Observation Satellite), GCOM-W and GCOM-C (ADEOS-2 follow on), and GPM (Global
Precipitation Mission) core satellite. GOSAT will carry 2 instruments, i.e. a green house gas sensor and a cloud/aerosol
imager. The main sensor is a Fourier transform spectrometer (FTS) and covers 0.76 to 15 μm region with 0.2 to 0.5 cm-1
resolution. GPM is a joint project with NASA and will carry two instruments. JAXA will develop DPR (Dual frequency
Precipitation Radar) which is a follow on of PR on TRMM. Another project is EarthCare. It is a joint project with ESA
and JAXA is going to provide CPR (Cloud Profiling Radar). Discussions on future Earth Observation programs have
been started including discussions on ALOS F/O.