The JERS-1 Amazon Multi-season Mapping Study (JAMMS): science objectives and implications for future missions
In late September 1995, the National Space Development Agency of Japan (NASDA) began a new phase of operations for the Japanese Earth Remote Sensing satellite (JERS-1) Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR)—the Global Rain Forest Mapping (GRFM) project. The first rainforest area to be mapped was the Amazon basin, between September and November of that year (the low flood season for much of the region), in support of the JERS-1 Amazon Multi-season Study (JAMMS), sponsored by NASA. This data acquisition was repeated 6 months later to acquire a second map of the Amazon, during the high flood season in May/June of 1996. The main objective of the JAMMS project was to generate a map of inundation over the Amazon basin by comparing data from the high- and low-flood seasons. Most of the data collected during these two phases of the JAMMS project, a total of ~5000 frames of data, was received and processed by the Alaska SAR Facility (ASF), then sent to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and NASDA for post-processing and analysis. The quality of the data processed by ASF for the JAMMS project has proved to be exceptional. This paper is a summary of the JAMMS project, which has resulted in a scientific dataset of very high value—a multi-season snapshot of one of the most difficult areas on Earth to monitor, even from space.