Press Release


Data Transmission Operation between
Advanced Land Observing Satellite "DAICHI" (ALOS)
and NASA Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System (TDRSS)

April 13, 2010 (JST)

Japan Aerospace Development Agency (JAXA)
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) decided to begin data transmission operations between JAXA's Advanced Land Observing Satellite "DAICHI" (ALOS) and NASA's Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System (TDRSS) in order to dramatically increase the frequency of observations for earthquake hazards, the decline of forests and changing water resources in North and South America. The decision this time is based on the collaboration agreement between ALOS and TDRSS concluded in June 2009.

Through this operation, observation data acquired by DAICHI over the Americas will be sent to NASA ground stations through the TDRSS, then transmitted to JAXA's Earth Observation Center (EOC in Hatoyama-machi, Saitama Prefecture) via the Internet.

Until now, JAXA's EOC has been receiving DAICHI's data through JAXA's Data Relay Test Satellite "KODAMA" (DRTS). Now we can receive data more often through the TDRSS in addition to the KODAMA (the data volume is about a 20% increase, and twice as much if limiting to the data on the Americas.) DAICHI's data through the TDRSS is also stated to be available to general users today.

To start this operation, we signed a letter to the Secretary General of the intergovernmental Group on Earth Observations (GEO)*1 on April 12, in order to report that this collaborative system will contribute to the establishment of the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS) promoted by the GEO.

This agreement is part of the JAXA-NASA partnership in the field of satellites. The collaborative relationship includes JAXA's onboard devices on NASA's Aqua satellite and Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM), both of which are currently in operation, and NASA's onboard equipment on JAXA's Advanced Earth Observing satellites (ADEOS and ADEOS-II) in the past. JAXA and NASA also plan to launch NASA's satellite, JAXA-NASA Global Precipitation Mission (GPM), with both NASA's and JAXA's observation devices by H-IIA Launch Vehicle in 2013.

*1: The Group of Earth Observation (GEO) is an intergovernmental organization established at the third Earth Observation Summit in 2005 to build a comprehensive Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS) comprised of multiple earth observation systems.


After signing the operation agreement

(Left) NASA Dr. Michael Freilich, Director, Earth Science Division, Science Mission Directorate
(Right) JAXA Dr. Masanori Homma, Executive Director, Space Applications Mission Directorate