A NASA EOS (Earth Observing System) satellite called Terra (EOS AM-1) carries the ASTER instrument. Terra launched on Dec. 18, 1999, and began direct broadcast in March 2000. Several Japanese companies built the ASTER instrument, which is a pointable sensor composed of three subsystems: the Visible and Near Infrared (VNIR), the Shortwave Infrared (SWIR), and the Thermal Infrared (TIR). ASTER is operational today through a joint cooperative effort between NASA, the Japan Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry, and the Japan Earth Remote Sensing Data Analysis Center.
The ASTER swath width is 60 km.
|Band #||Pixel Resolution (meters)||Reflected Bandwidth Range (microns)||Emitted Bandwidth Range (microns)||Instrument Subsystem|
|1||15||0.52 – 0.60||VNIR|
|2||15||0.63 – 0.69||VNIR|
|3 (nadir looking)||15||0.76 – 0.86||VNIR|
|3 (backward looking)||15||0.76 – 0.86||VNIR|
|4||30||1.600 – 1.700||SWIR|
|5||30||2.145 – 2.185||SWIR|
|6||30||2.185 – 2.225||SWIR|
|7||30||2.235 – 2.285||SWIR|
|8||30||2.295 – 2.365||SWIR|
|9||30||2.360 – 2.430||SWIR|
|10||90||8.125 – 8.475||TIR|
|11||90||8.475 – 8.825||TIR|
|12||90||8.925 – 9.275||TIR|
|13||90||10.25 – 10.95||TIR|
|14||90||10.95 – 11.65||TIR|
Note: There is no visible blue band.
15m Visible and Near Infrared (VNIR)
30m Shortwave Infrared (SWIR)
60m Thermal Infrared (TIR)
The Terra satellite, which carries the ASTER instrument, has a ground track repeat cycle of 16 days. ASTER, however, is a noncontinuous on-demand sensor. Acquisitions must be requested by authorized users and are assigned to one of three ASTER Data Collection Categories. The NASA JPL Obtaining ASTER Data site and subsequent sublinks explain the data acquisition process, including the Acquisition Calendar.
The Terra satellite operates in a sun-synchronous, near-polar orbit at 705 km above the Earth.
See the ASTER Supplemental Tools site and sublinks for information about ASTER data available through the USGS Global Visualization Viewer (GloVis), the Land Processes Distributed Active Archive Center (LP DAAC) Data Pool, and the USGS TerraLook collection.
NASA JPL ASTER Home