ASTER SCIENCE PROJECT
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ABOUT ASTER `rsdqƂ́H


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ABOUT ASTER
DOCUMENTS AND GUIDE


About ASTER
Various information about ASTER Sensor are introduced in this page.

ASTER (Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection radiometer) is the high efficiency optical sensor which covers a wide spectral region from the visible to the thermal infrared by 14 spectral bands. ASTER acquires data which can be used in various field in earth science.

ASTER was launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, USA in 1999 aboard the Terra, which is one of the satellites in the EOS Project.

The purpose of the ASTER Project is to make contributions to extend the understanding of local and regional phenomena on the Earth surface and its atmosphere. The goals are as follows.

(1) To promote research of geological phenomena of tectonic surfaces and geological history through detailed mapping of the Earth topography and geological formation. (This goal includes contributions to applied researches of remote sensing.)
(2) To understand distribution and changes of vegetation.
(3) To further understand interactions between the Earth surface and atmosphere by surface temperature mapping.
(4) To evaluate impact of volcanic gas emission to the atmosphere through monitoring of volcanic activities.
(5) To contribute understanding of aerosol characteristics in the atmosphere and of cloud classification.
(6) To contribute understanding of roles the coral reefs play in the carbon cycle through coral classification and global distribution mapping of corals



ASTER SENSOR

As the successor of OPS/JERS-1, ASTER was designed and developed in compliance with the essential performance requirements set forth by ASTER Science Team.

The features of ASTER Sensor are, high spatial and radiometric resolution, broad spectral coverage (visible- through thermal-infrared), and stereo capability on a single path.


ASTER GDS (GROUND DATA SYSTEM)

ASTER Ground Data Systems (ASTER GDS) is a ground system for ASTER operation, data processing, data archiving and distribution.


ASTER Products

ASTER products have the following superior characteristics:

  • A wider spectral range and a higher spectral resolution
  • 15m (visible and near infrared spectral region), 30m (shortwave infrared spectral region), and 90m (thermal infrared spectral region) spatial resolutions
  • Both the usual nadir-looking telescope and a backward-looking telescope are used to produce stereoscopic images acquired on a single orbit.


Orbit & Path Calendar

The Terra spacecraft will operate in a circular, near polar orbit which is sun-synchronous with equatorial crossing at a local time of 10:30 a.m.

Terra recurrent cycle is 16 days, there are 16 one day path patterns, for both the daytime and the nighttime observations, respectively.


Coverage Map

The Data acquired by ASTER are registered on the database after being processed in ASTER GDS.

ASTER has acquired about 560 thousands scenes until 5th Feb. 2003.


EOS Project

To elucidate the mechanism of climate change in particular, which is the one most profoundly concerned among the changes foresaid, NASA promotes Earth Observing System Project (EOS Project) where systems has been/will be developed for observing the Earth from space by satellites and of data processing and various research programs for data application has been/will be conducted.24 sensors including ASTER are planned as part of instruments for use in the EOS Project





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