NOAA 2002-R320
Contact: Pat Viets
NOAA News Releases 2002
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The Commerce Department’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has signed an agreement with the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, for the university to operate a regional center for remote sensing products from Japan’s Advanced Land Observing Satellite (ALOS) mission, NOAA announced today.

The university’s Alaska Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) Facility will provide downlink, processing, and distribution of the satellite data. The center, known as the Americas ALOS Data Node, is one of four such enterprises worldwide established under the auspices of the National Space Development Agency of Japan (NASDA).

As the exclusive operating agent of the Americas ALOS Data Node, the Alaska SAR Facility will serve the science community as well as non-research data users throughout North, Central, and South America. The Alaska SAR Facility will also partner with the commercial sector to develop and market value-added products from the ALOS data stream.

“The Alaska SAR Facility brings a decade of experience receiving, processing and distributing data from remote sensing satellites together with the new exciting opportunities anticipated with the launch of ALOS in mid-2004,” said Helen Wood, director of the NOAA Office of Satellite Data Processing and Distribution. “The advanced optical and radar instruments aboard the spacecraft will support research into critical global and regional changes, precision mapping, disaster monitoring, and other innovative applications.”

The ALOS project strengthens the long-established ties between the Alaska SAR Facility, the National Space Development Agency of Japan, and NOAA National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service (NOAA Satellites and Information). NOAA Satellites and Information is the nation’s primary source of space-based meteorological and climate data. NOAA Satellites and Information operates the nation's environmental satellites, which are used for weather forecasting, climate monitoring and other environmental applications such as fire detection, ozone monitoring and sea surface temperature measurements.

NOAA Satellites and Information also operates three data centers, which house global data bases in climatology, oceanography, solid earth geophysics, marine geology and geophysics, solar-terrestrial physics, and paleoclimatology.

The Commerce Department’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and providing environmental stewardship of our nation’s coastal and marine resources.

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Inquiries about the Americas ALOS Data Node can be made by email: and telephone (907) 474-6166.