Himawari-8 and 9
Himawari-8 and -9 Meteorological Missions
JMA (Japan Meteorological Agency) has operated the GMS (Geostationary Meteorological Satellite) and MTSAT (Multifunction Transport Satellite) series of satellites around the 140º east longitude to cover the East Asia and Western Pacific regions since 1978, and makes related contributions to the WMO's World Weather Watch (WWW) Program. As a follow-on to the MTSAT series, the Agency plans to operate next-generation satellites called Himawari-8 and Himawari-9 (himawari means "sunflower" in Japanese). Unlike the current MTSAT series, which performs both meteorological and aeronautical functions, to include air-traffic control communications and position information, Himawari-8 and -9 will have a dedicated meteorological mission. 1) 2) 3) 4) 5) 6)
Currently (2014), MTSAT-2 (Himawari-7) is operational, while MTSAT-1R (Himawari-6) is on standby in orbit. MTSAT-2, which took over the Earth observation mission of MTSAT-1R on July 1, 2010, is scheduled to complete its observation operation in around 2015. In order to provide continuous observation services, JMA plans to commence its operation in 2015, when MTSAT-2 is scheduled to complete its period of operation. The Agency also plans to launch Himawari-9 in 2016.
Figure 1: Schedule for the follow-on satellites to the MTSAT series (image credit: JMA)
Figure 2: Coverage of Himawari-8/-9 (image credit: JMA) 7)
Figure 3: Artist's rendition of the deployed Himawari-8 spacecraft (image credit: JMA)
In July 2009, JMA completed contract arrangements with MELCO (Mitsubishi Electric Corporation) for the manufacture of Himawari-8 and -9, which have identical specifications.
• The Himawari spacecraft is 3-axis stabilized with momentum bias. It features a MELCO DS-2000 bus. The overall size of the deployed spacecraft is: 5.2 m (X-axis), 8.0 m (Y-axis), 5.3 m (Z-axis).
• The launch mass is ~3500 kg, the dry mass is 1300 kg.
• The design life is 8 years (including In-Orbit-Test) for AHI, 15 years for the spacecraft bus.
• ADCS (Attitude Determination and Control Subsystem)
- Attitude sensors: Coarse Sun Sensor, Star Tracker, IRU (Inertial Reference Unit), Gyroscope
- Actuation device: RWA (Reaction Wheel Assembly)
• EPS (Electrical Power Subsystem): The power generated is 2.6 kW, the bus voltage is 100 V, use of a Li-ion battery.
• MDHS (Mission Data Handling Subsystem): MDHS connects with the AHI instrument using SpaceWire I/F and processes the data from the instrument into telemetry, based on the CCSDS recommendations. The processed data are sent to the Ka-band transmission system. MDHS also connects with a satellite control system by SpaceWire and sends commands to AHI.
Figure 4: Schematic view of the Himawari-8/9 satellite (image credit: JMA)
• RF communications:
- Ku-band for TT&C services. The uplink rate is 500 bit/s, the downlink data rate is 15.36 kbit/s with a modulation PCM-PSK/PM
- Ka-band for payload data transmission. The data rate is 66 Mbit/s for AHI and 100 bit/s/300 bit/s for DCS. The modulation is QPSK, PCM-PSK, no encryption.
- UHF for DCS: The data rate is 100 bit/s/300 bit/s with a modulation of PCM-PSK.
For AHI data, compression is performed according to CCSDS Recommendation for Space Data System Standards. Lossless Data Compression, CCSDS 121.0-B-1 Lossless, May 1997.
• On August 21, 2014, MELCO announced that it has completed work on the Himawari-8 satellite, the next generation geostationary meteorological satellite, based on a contract awarded by the JMA(Japan Meteorological Agency). Himawari-8 was delivered soon to Tanegashima Space Center, Japan, from where it was launched. 11)
Figure 5: Photo of the completed Himawari-8 satellite at Mitsubishi Electric's space works center (image credit: MELCO)
• In December 2013, ITT Exelis delivered the AHI instrument to Mitsubishi Electric Corporation. 12)
Launch: The Himawari-8 spacecraft was launched on October 7, 2014 (05:16:00 UTC) on a H-IIA vehicle (H-IIA F25) from the TNSC (Tanegashima Space Center) of JAXA, Japan. The launch service provider was Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. The launch vehicle flew as planned, and, at about 27 minutes and 57 seconds after liftoff, the separation of the Himawari-8 was confirmed. 13) 14) 15)
Orbit: Geostationary orbit of Himawari-8 and Himawari-9, altitude of ~35,800 km, longitude of ~140.7º east, covering the East Asia and Western Pacific regions, succeeding the GMS and MTSAT series.
Launch: The Himawari-9 spacecraft of JAXA was launched on November 02, 2016 (6:20:00 UTC) on the H-IIA F31 vehicle of MHI (Mitsubishi Heavy Industries) from the TNSC (Tanegashima Space Center), Japan. The launch vehicle flew as planned, and at approximately 27 minutes and 51 seconds after liftoff, the separation of Himawari-9 was confirmed. 16)
Both Himawari-8 and -9 spacecraft do not carry any equipment for direct data broadcasting. Hence, JMA is discussing the utilization of ICS (Internet Cloud Service) and CTS (Commercial Telecommunication Satellite) as data distribution services (Figure 6). JMA will substitute the CTS broadcasting for current MTSAT direct broadcasting. On the other hand, the Internet Cloud Service will be newly introduced as a means of data distribution for the National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs) and for EUMETSAT. The agency will also introduce an Archive Server that is operated by the Japanese Science Group. Users of this server will be able to obtain all types of imagery from this server. Table 8 shows the receivable imagery products via the Internet Cloud Service / the CTS broadcasting. However, the types of imagery are limited for CTS broadcasting.
Table 1 shows the dataset disseminated via the HimawariCast service.
Himawari imagery in full-disk HRIT/LRIT files compatible with current MTSAT HRIT/LRIT data* is provided via the service. Files will be disseminated every 10 minutes in principle, but this interval will follow the MTSAT-2 observation schedule while MTSAT-2 is in operation. The number of bands of MTSAT-2 HRIT files is 5 out of 5, and that of Himawari-8 HRIT files is 14 out of 16.
In addition, numerical weather prediction (NWP) products GPVs (Grid Point Values) and meteorological observation data other than Himawari imagery in SATAID format are disseminated. Satellite Animation and Interactive Diagnosis (SATAID) visualization software for satellite imagery enables the superimposition of various meteorological data and products, such as NWP, in-situ observation data and ASCAT output, onto satellite imagery.
Table 1: The data set disseminated via HimawariCast (Ref. 41)
The specification list of receiver for the CTS broadcasting is shown in Table 2. To receive imagery, the specification of equipment is needed. Note that the equipment for the current MTSAT direct broadcasting is not available for the CTS broadcasting.
• December 14, 2016: Himawari-8 Water Vapor (6.2 µm) images revealed the presence of a subtle packet of upper-tropospheric gravity waves propagating southeastward near the International Date Line (180º longitude over the central Pacific Ocean), just to the west/southwest of Midway Atoll on 14 December 2016 — and there were a few pilot reports of moderate to severe turbulence (which were responsible for at least one injury) in the general vicinity of this gravity wave feature from 1530 to 1740 UTC, at altitudes of 35,000 to 38,000 feet. 19)
Figure 7: Himawari-8 Water Vapor (6.2 µm) images, with pilot reports of turbulence (image credit: CIMSS, University of Wisconsin-Madison)
• On November 11, 2016, the Himawari-9 satellite entered its geostationary orbit.
• November 8, 2016: After in-orbit testing, Himawari-9 will stand by until 2022 as backup for the currently operational Himawari-8 geostationary satellite. HimawariCast users will not need to modify receiving system settings to continue data service usage even after the start of Himawari-9's operation. The combination of these two new-generation geostationary satellites will allow JMA to provide stable ongoing observation of the Asia and Pacific regions until 2029. 20)
• March 2016: According to JMA, the Himawari-8 spacecraft and its payload are operating nominally. 21)
• January 2016: The GSMaP (Global Satellite Mapping of Precipitation) product is a global rainfall map that is highly accurate, highly frequent, and high-spatial resolution through the development of rain rate retrieval algorithms based on reliable precipitation physical models by using a number of microwave radiometer (imagers, sounders, and imager/sounders) observation data, and comprehensive use of the Precipitation Radar (PR) on board the TRMM (Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission) satellite. To produce a highly frequent global rainfall map, sampling errors caused by un-observed regions by LEO (Low Earth Orbit) satellites is a problem. The GSMaP project has developed a method to interpolate observations between each microwave imager by utilizing information from the Infrared imagers on board the five geostationary satellites, which are JMA's MTSAT/Himawari satellite, two NOAA's GOES satellites, and EUMETSAT's Meteosat satellites, and achieved production of an hourly global rainfall map in 0.1º latitude/longitude grid. 22)
- JAXA has provided the near-real-time GSMaP (GSMaP_NRT) product four hours after observation through the "JAXA Global Rainfall Watch" website (http://sharaku.eorc.jaxa.jp/GSMaP/) since 2008 as a prototype of the GPM (Global Precipitation Measurement) mission.
• January 2016: ABI (Advanced Baseline Imager) class instruments of Harris Corporation are supporting three missions (Ref. 34):
- GOES-R (ABI) of NOAA, USA; Himawari: AHI (Advanced Himawari Imager) of JMA, Japan; and GEO-KOMPSAT-2A: AMI (Advanced Meteorological Imager) of KMA, Korea.
Four flight models were delivered:
- ABI PFM: Integrated on GOES-R spacecraft
- AHI-8: Operating on orbit (Himawari-8)
- ABI FM2: Delivered
- AHI-9: Integrated on Himawari-9 spacecraft.
Three more in production at Harris
- ABI FM3, ABI FM4, AMI.
• Sept. 2, 2015: JAXA/EORC (Earth Observation Research Center) has released a new webpage, "JAXA Himawari Monitor" 23) , showing the color images and the quicklook images of the geophysical data from Himawari-8. 24)
- JAXA and JMA have exchanged the agreement on the distribution and the release of meteorological data. Under this agreement, EORC has released the data from Himawari-8 to research communities and has been creating the geophysical data that are consistent with JAXA's Earth observation satellites in order to release them widely to the general public. Other than releasing the images in the JAXA Himawari Monitor, EORC also stated to distribute via FTP the Himawari Standard Data and the geophysical data produced by JAXA.
- The Himawari Standard Data includes the visible to infrared radiances (Band 1 to 16) for three regions of Full Disk (global), Japan Area and Target Area. The observation data can be achieved every 10 minutes for Full Disk and every 2.5 minutes for Japan Area and Target Area. Using the observation bands that enable the world's first "color image" from geostationary satellite, one of the advanced aspects of Himawari-8, the JAXA Himawari Monitor shows the visible RGB composite images (Figure 8).
- In addition, for the Himawari geophysical data, JAXA/EORC produces the properties of atmospheric particles (called aerosols), such as desert dusts and PM2.5 and the sea surface temperature. Both applied the algorithm developed for the JAXA's Earth observation satellites, including the GCOM-C ( Global Change Observation Mission – Climate) satellite, in order to produce, in the future, datasets that are consistent between the satellites and can compensate each other's observations.
- There are two kinds of SST (Sea Surface Temperature) products: an ordinary product and a nighttime product. The ordinary SST product (Figure 10) is a dataset produced every 10 minutes, regardless of day or night, with the spatial resolution of 2 km. In order to reduce the missing area by clouds, hourly averaged products are also created. The nighttime SST product uses Band 7 (3.9 µm wavelength) and, although it can only be retrieved at nighttime, its advantage is in its high accuracy. The dataset of the nighttime SST is an hourly averaged product with a spatial resolution of 2 km.
• July 7, 2015: The Himawari-8 geostationary meteorological satellite, managed by JMA (Japan Meteorological Agency), began its operational phase at 02:00 UTC on 7 July 2015, replacing the previous MTSAT-2 operational satellite (now in standby). 25)
- During the commissioning phase, Himawari-8's capacity for superior Earth monitoring with multi-band, high-resolution and high-frequency observation was verified. JMA firmly believes that Himawari-8 will open the door to a new generation of satellite meteorology, and that it will contribute to the prevention and mitigation of weather-related disasters in the East Asia and Western Pacific regions as past satellites have done.
• July 1, 2015: JMA started Himawari-8 imagery dissemination via the HimawariCast service at 02:00 UTC on 1 July 2015, prior to Himawari-8 officially enters operation on 7 July. 26)
• In early 2015, Himawari-8 is testing and checking all systems in orbit and is scheduled to start operation in mid-2015. 27)
• On December 18, 2014, the first images from all 16 bands of the AHI (Advanced Himawari Imager) were captured by JMA's Himawari-8 next-generation geostationary meteorological satellite. 28)
Figure 11: True color composite image of AHI captured on Dec. 18, 2014 showing a sunlit and cloud-covered Japan, Pacific Ocean and Australia (image credit: JMA)
• Himawari-8, entered the geostationary orbit on October 16, 2014 as planned. The satellite is expected to start operation in mid-2015 after the completion of in-orbit testing and checking of the overall system including related ground facilities. 29)
Figure 12: Chronology of JMA meteorological satellites as of Oct. 7, 2014 (image credit: JMA) 30)
Sensor complement: (AHI, SEDA, DCS)
The functions and specifications of the Himawari-8 and -9 sensor complement are notably improved from those of the on-board imager of MTSAT. The Himawari-8 and -9 spacecraft carry the AHI (Advanced Himawari Imager) instrument to enable enhanced nowcasting, NWP (Numerical Weather Prediction) and environment monitoring. 31) 32)
Figure 13: Enhancement of the observation function of Himawari-8/9 when compared to that of MTSAT-1R/2 (image credit: JMA)
AHI (Advanced Himawari Imager):
AHI is an ABI (Advanced Baseline Imager) class instrument, designed and developed at Exelis Inc. of Rochester, N.Y., and similar to the one that will be integrated onto the GOES-R spacecraft series of NASA/NOAA. - Note: In May 2015, Harris Corp. of Melbourne, FL. acquired Exelis Inc. of Fort Wayne, IN.33) 34)
ABI and AHI both have 16 spectral channels in the visible and infrared spectrum, which is a significant increase in the number of spectral channels in comparison to heritage instruments. The two instruments have similar spectral bands with two main differences: ABI includes a 1.38 µm channel (for cirrus cloud detection), while this channel is replaced with a 0.51 µm channel (green band – to produce color composite imagery) on AHI (Ref.12) .
The AHI instrument provides the following general characteristics:
• Multi-purpose imagery for weather watch, NWP utilization and environment monitoring; and wind derivation by tracking clouds and water vapor features
• 16 channels operating in the VIS, NIR, SWIR, MWIR and TIR spectral bands, i.e. from ~ 0.43 to ~13.4 µm.
• AHI is replacing JAMI flown on Himawari-6 (MTSAT-1R) and IMAGER on Himawari-7 (MTSAT- 2)
• Scanning technique: Mechanical, 3-axis stabilized satellite, E-W continuous, S-N stepping
• Spatial resolution: From 0.5 km to 2 km, depending on spectral band
• Coverage/cycle: Full disk in 10 minutes, limited areas in proportionally shorter intervals.
Table 3: Characteristics of the AHI instrument
Figure 14: AHI optical architecture (image credit: Harris Corp.) 37)
Table 4: AHI Channels Optimized for JMA's Mission (Ref. 34)
• AHI & AMI added 1-km 0.51 µm channel (green)
- True 3-color visible images
- Improved ocean images
• Retained 1-km 0.865 µm channel
- Shifted to HgCdTe detector array
• Changed 1.61 µm channel to 2-km
• Eliminated one NIR channel
- AHI: 1.378 µm
- AMI: 2.25 µm
Figure 15: AHI's 2-mirror scanner is key to operational flexibility, delivering fast slews and accurate slow scans with minimal disturbance (image credit: Harris Corp.)
Table 5: Comparision of imaging capabilities between MI and AHI
Figure 16: SRF (Spectral Response Functions) of AHI in the VNIR bands (image credit: JMA)
Figure 17: SRF (Spectral Response Functions) of AHI in the IR bands (image credit: JMA)
Figure 18: Photo of the AHI instrument (image credit: ITT Exelis, JMA)
Figure 19: Photo of the cryocooler electronics (image credit: ITT Exelis, JMA)
Figure 20: Photo of the electronics unit (image credit: ITT Exelis, JMA)
Figure 21: A sequence of AHI observations in a 10 minute time frame (image credit: JMA)
AHI instrument calibration means:
• ICT (Internal Calibration Target) accurately calibrates emissive channels on-orbit
• SCA (Solar Calibration Assembly) delivers on-orbit calibration over mission life
• ECAL (Electronic Calibration) verifies linearity throughout mission
• Operational calibration is routinely performed:
- Spacelook collected at least every 30 s (automatically collected as part of every Full Disk swath)
- Blackbody (ICT) observed at start of each timeline
- Solar calibration scheduled when needed.
Onboard microvibration measures for AHI pointing error reduction:
One of the greatest obstacles to achieve high pointing accuracy is microvibration, which is induced by the dozens of the disturbance sources inside the satellite; examples include reaction wheels, mechanical gyros, and coolers. In order to satisfy the requirement, an evaluation of the influence of microvibration before launch is necessary. 38)
In order for the AHI to achieve high accuracy observations, the strict LOS (Line of Sight) pointing error is required. The LOS pointing error requirements for the AHI are shown in Table 6. The influence of the satellite bus system is considered in the requirements. Therefore, in order to satisfy the requirements for LOS pointing error, a high accuracy attitude control system, technology for reducing the influence of microvibration, and a low thermal expansion optical bench, etc. are adopted.
In addition to the conventional attitude determination system for attitude control, the high accuracy and broadband attitude determination system of the optical bench is provided for correcting images for the ground system of the Himawari-8 and -9. The attitude determination system of the optical bench functions in combination with the data from the STT (Star Tracker), IRU (Inertial Reference Unit), ARS (Angular Rate Sensor), and ACC (Accelerometer) installed on the optical bench.
Some measures were taken to reduce the influence of microvibration induced with disturbance sources. Low disturbance RWAs (Reaction Wheel Assemblies) are adopted, and an IRU (mechanical gyro), which generates the least level of disturbance, was selected. However, the LOS pointing error of a mission sensor is not only induced by disturbances generated from the disturbance sources discussed previously, but is also affected by characteristics of the satellite structure. Therefore, in the early development phase of the Himawari-8, the disturbance analysis was conducted, using transfer functions calculated by finite element analysis, and the data of disturbance sources, and in the final development phase, the microvibration test was conducted using the protoflight model of the Himawari-8.
In summary, the motion of the optical bench, induced by disturbance sources installed in the Himawari-8, was evaluated with the data acquired in both the ground test and orbit. The results showed that the vibration level predicted from the ground test data, almost exactly coincided with the data measured in orbit. The health of the onboard sensors was confirmed by comparing the ground test data with the in-orbit data. It was confirmed that the dominant disturbance sources in the Himawari-8 were the IRU and the cooler in the AHI. However, the microvibration level of Himawari-8 was still very quiet, compared to the ESA and JAXA satellite models.
SEDA (Space Environment Data Acquisition Monitor)
SEDA will measure the radiation to which Himawari-8/-9 satellites are exposed in their geostationary Earth orbits. SEDA's design is basically identical to the EMU (Environmental Monitoring Unit) developed for the European satellite navigation system Galileo.
Table 7: Specification of the SEDA instrument
Figure 22: Illustration of the SEDA instrument (image credit: NICT)
DCS (Data Collection Subsystem)
The Himawari-8/-9 missions support the collection of surface-based observation data obtained by ground segments with corresponding on-board DCSs (Data Collection System) in the same manner as provided by the MTSAT series. DCP channels relay their data from the DCPs through a UHF transponder, which outputs the Ka-band signal.
The Himawari-8 and -9 ground segment, designed, built and installed by MELCO, consists of antennas of 9 m diameter and radio frequency and satellite control equipment installed at the main unit in Hiki-gun, Saitama Prefecture, and the sub unit in Ebetsu, Hokkaido. 39)
In August 2010, Himawari Operation Enterprise was established as Special Purpose Company to operate the Himawari series spacecraft. This consortium is composed of Mitsubishi UFJ Lease & Finance Company Limited (representative company, management of office), NS Solutions Corporation (development of ground facilities, systems and maintenance work), and Space Engineering Development Co., Ltd. (service delivery), and has contracted this project with JMA in 2010 for the duration of 20 years until the end of March 2030 ((4 year and 7 month development period, 15 year maintenance and service delivery period).
Figure 23: Main Unit (at Hiki-gun, Saitama, left); Sub Unit (at Ebetsu, Hokkaido, right)
Figure 24: Overview of the Himawari-8/9 distribution/dissemination (image credit: JMA) 40)
Legend to Figure 24: Himawari-8/9 will not carry equipment for direct dissemination. Instead, all imagery derived from the satellites will be distributed to NMHSs (National Meteorological and Hydrological Services) via an Internet cloud service (see (a) in the Figure 24). Full sets of data will also be provided to researchers via archive servers operated by the Japanese Science Group on a best-effort basis (b). The HimawariCast service will additionally disseminate primary sets of imagery via a communication satellite using Digital Video Broadcasting — Satellite — Second Generation (DVB-S2) technology (c). Note: NREN (National Research and Education Network).
In addition, JMA will continue the current online imagery distribution service; WIS Portal (d) and the JDDS (JMA Data Dissemination System), (e) even after Himawari-8 takes over as the main operational satellite.
The HimawariCast service:
- MTSAT-2 imagery is currently provided directly via MTSAT-1R through the L-band frequency HRIT (High-Rate Information Transmission) and LRIT (Low-Rate Information Transmission) services. JMA will terminate these services in around November 2015. As a replacement of these services, JMA started the HimawariCast service which disseminates primary sets of imagery via a communication satellite from January 2015 onwards.
- The interval between full-disk observations by Himawari-8 will be 10 minutes, which is much shorter than the 30/60 minutes of the MTSAT series. The HimawariCast service will provide full-disk imagery with this high 10-minute observation frequency.
- JMA successfully launched Himawari-8 in October 2014 and will switch over operations from MTSAT-2 in mid-2015.
- The HimawariCast service is disseminating imagery of the current operational satellite, MTSAT-2, and Himawari-8 imagery will be disseminated after Himawari-8 becomes operational. JMA has a plan to disseminate Himawari-8 imagery on a trial basis while MTSAT-2 is in operation.
Figure 25: : Schedule for transition from the MTSAT HRIT/LRIT service to the HimawariCast service (image credit: JMA)
The JCSAT-2A communication satellite located at 154 ºE is used to broadcast data for the HimawariCast service. The JCSAT-2B unit will then take over from JCSAT-2A as the communication satellite in Q4 of 2015 at the same location. HimawariCast users will need to prepare for the transition from JCSAT-2A to JCSAT-2B during a dual operation period (approx. 1 week) of JCSAT-2A and JCSAT-2B.
The HimawariCloud service:
To distribute the enormous volumes of Himawari-8/9 imagery that will be produced, JMA will establish an Internet cloud service (HimawariCloud) mainly for NMHSs (National Meteorological and Hydrological Services) in the East Asia and Western Pacific regions.
Table 8 shows the tentative data set to be distributed via the cloud service. Himawari Standard Data will be used to create all products related to Himawari-8/9 as master data from all 16 bands with the finest spatial resolution. The true-color images will be provided in Portable Network Graphics (PNG) format. For rapid scanning observation, imagery in Network Common Data Form (NetCDF) will also be created and distributed.
Each NMHS will be able to access the cloud and get data using an HTTP 1.1 client such as a Web browser or Wget. It is important to note that an Internet connection with a speed of at least 25 Mbit/s will be required to download all Himawari Standard Data. These data will be separately created for each band and divided into 10 segments from north to south so that NMHSs can select only the files necessary for their operation.
Overview of the Himawari-8/9 ground segment and operations:
The Himawari-8/9 satellites and their ground stations will be operated by Himawari Operation Enterprise Corporation (HOPE) — a special-purpose company (SPC) established under JMA's Private Finance Initiative (PFI) project. Observation data from the AHI (Advanced Himawari Imager) and DCP (Data Collection Platform) data will be transmitted through HOPE to JMA, which will process the information and disseminate products to users (Figure 26).
Site diversity: Himawari-8/9 will use the Ka-band for AHI and DCP data downlink frequency, and will adopt the Ku-band for TT&C (Telemetry, Tracking and Command). To minimize the potential for negative data impacts from these bands, which both tend to be affected by rain attenuation, site diversity will be introduced by establishing two antenna sites (ASs). One will be in the Kanto region (the primary station) and the other will be in the Hokkaido region (the secondary station), meaning that their locations will be around 800 km apart and in different weather conditions. The two data centers (DCs) for processing data received will also be located in the Kanto and Hokkaido regions.
Operation by HOPE: HOPE will operate the ASs and DCs. The ASs will house transmitting/receiving equipment including antennas with a diameter of 9 m, and the DCs will have equipment for satellite control and AHI/DCP data processing. AHI and DCP data received at ASs will be transmitted to DCs, where the former will be processed to create level 1a data (raw data with calibration/navigation parameters attached) and the latter will be converted for use with JMA's telecommunications system. The processed data will be transmitted to JMA's Meteorological Satellite Center (Tokyo) and its Osaka Regional Headquarters (Osaka). In the event that the primary station becomes dysfunctional, the secondary station will take over its operations.
Operation by JMA: The MSC (Meteorological Satellite Center) will receive data from both the primary and secondary stations for preprocessing, and Himawari Standard Data, HRIT files and edited DCP data will then be produced and provided to users. The Osaka Regional Headquarters will receive data from the secondary station only. In the event that the MSC system becomes dysfunctional (e.g., due to a malfunction caused by a natural disaster), data/products will be provided from Osaka.
2) Tatsuya Kimura, "Up‐to‐date Information on the Japanese Next‐Generation Himawari‐8/9 Satellites for Users' Preparedness," May 13, 2013, URL:
3) Francis P. Padula, "Using S-NPP VIIRS as a Transfer Radiometer to Inter-compare GOES-R ABI and Himawari-8 AHI," https://ams.confex.com/ams/94Annual/webprogram/Paper235594.html
4) Yasushi Izumikawa, "Update of JMA's Status Report (2012)," Geneva, Switzerland, April 17-19, 2012, URL: http://www.wmo.int/pages/prog/sat/meetings/documents/ET-SAT-7_Doc_05-05_JMA-update.pdf
5) Masaya Takahashi, "Status of Next Generation Japanese Geostationary Meteorological Satellites - Himawari-8/9 and their Products," NOAA Satellite Science Week: GOES-R AlgorithmWorking Group (AWG), Proving Ground, and Risk Reduction annual meetings, Kansas City,MO, USA, Apr. 30 - May 4, 2012, URL: http://www.goes-r.gov/downloads/2012-Science-Week/posters/tues/05_Takahashi.pdf
6) "JMA report on the status of current and future satellite systems," JMA, May 2014, URL:
7) Hiroshi Koide, "JMA Activities on New-generation Himawari-8 Geostationary Satellite in RA-V," 16th RA-V Tropical Cyclone Committee, Solomon Islands, 27 August 2016, URL: https://www.wmo.int/pages/prog/www/tcp/documents/RAV_TCC-16_Item9.31_JMA_Koide.pdf
8) Information provided by Keiko Yamamoto of the Satellite Program Division, Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA).
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12) "Exelis delivers advanced weather satellite payload to commercial customer in Japan," Exelis, Dec. 18, 2013, URL: http://www.exelisinc.com/news/pressreleases/Pages
13) "Launch Success of H-IIA Launch Vehicle No. 25 with "Himawari-8" Onboard," JAXA Press Release, Oct. 7, 2014, URL: http://global.jaxa.jp/press/2014/10/20141007_h2af25.html#at
14) "Launch of H-IIA Launch Vehicle No. 25," JAXA Press Release, August 7, 2014, URL: http:/global.jaxa.jp/press/2014/08/20140807_h2af25.html
15) "Himawari-8 successfully launched," JMA, Oct. 7, 2014, URL:
16) "Launch success of the H-IIA Launch Vehicle No. 31 (H-IIA F31) with the geostationary meteorological satellite "Himawari-9" on board," JAXA Press Release, Nov. 2, 2016, URL: http://global.jaxa.jp/press/2016/11/20161102_h2af31.html
17) Hiroaki Tsuchiyama, Toshiyuki Kurino, Masaya Takahashi, "Progress on development of new products expected from Japanese follow-on geostationary meteorological satellites HIMAWARI-8/9," Proceedings of the Joint EUMETSAT /AMS Meteorological Satellite Conference to address issues on Weather, Climate, Oceans and the Environment, Vienna, Austria, Sept. 16-20, 2013, , URL:
18) Kotaro Bessho, "Overview of Japanese new generation geostationary meteorological satellite, Himawari-8," The 1st KMA International Meteorological Satellite Conference, Seoul, Korea, November 16-18, 2015, URL: http://www.kmaimsc.kr/html/menu1_sub4.php
19) "Moderate to severe turbulence aloft near the International Date Line," CIMSS Satellite Blog, Dec. 14, 2016, URL: http://cimss.ssec.wisc.edu/goes/blog/archives/category/himawari-8/page/2
20) "HimawariCast Newsletter No. 2, 8 November 2016," JMA, URL: http://www.data.jma.go.jp/mscweb/en/himawari89
21) "Himawari-8 Operational Schedule," JMA, April 1, 2016, URL: http://www.data.jma.go.jp/mscweb/en/operation8/bulletin_list_H8.html
22) Misako Kachi, T. Kubota, R. Oki, "Utilization of Himawari-8 in the Global Satellite Mapping of Precipitation (GSMaP) NowCast version," 12th Annual Symposium on New Generation Operational Environmental Satellite Systems, AMS Annual Meeting, 11-14 January 2016, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, URL: https://ams.confex.com/ams/96Annual/webprogram/Paper285626.html
24) "Release of JAXA Himawari Monitor," JAXA, Sept. 2, 2015, URL: http://www.eorc.jaxa.jp/en/imgdata/topics/2015/tp150902.html
25) "Himawari-8 operation initiated," JMA News Release, July 7, 2015, URL:
26) "Dissemination via communication satellite: the HimawariCast service," JMA/MSC (Meteorological Satellite Center), URL: http://www.data.jma.go.jp/mscweb/en/himawari89/himawari_cast/himawari_cast.html
27) Information provided by Kazuki Yasui of JMA, Tokyo, Japan.
28) "First images from Himawari-8," JMA, Dec. 18, 2014, URL: http://www.jma.go.jp/jma/jma-eng
29) "Himawari-8 enters geostationary orbit," JMA News Release, Oct. 18, 2014, URL:
32) "Himawari-8/9 and MTSAT-1R/2 imagery channels and file sizes," URL:
33) "Harris Corporation Completes Acquisition of Exelis," Press Release, May 29, 2015, URL: http://www.exelisinc.com/news/pressreleases/Pages
34) Paul C. Griffith, "Advanced Himawari Imager (AHI) Design and Operational Flexibility," 12th Annual Symposium on New Generation Operational Environmental Satellite Systems, AMS Annual Meeting, 11-14 January 2016, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, URL: https://ams.confex.com/ams/96Annual
35) ITT picked to build the imaging systems for Japanese weather satellites," ITT, Nov. 2, 2009, URL: http://www.itt.com/News/Releases/2009/ITT-Picked-to-Build-Advanced-Imaging-Systems-for-J/
37) Paul C. Griffith, "Advanced Himawari Imager (AHI) Design and Operational Flexibility," Sixth Asia/Oceania Meteorological Satellite Users' Conference, November 9 - 13, 2015, Tokyo/Japan, URL: http://www.data.jma.go.jp/mscweb/en/aomsuc6_data/oral/s02-01.pdf
38) Osamu Takahara, Takeya Shima, Hitoshi Kitamura, Norimasa Yoshida, "Prediction of the Microvibration from Ground Test and Its In-orbit Evaluation of the Geostationary Meteorological Satellite ‘Himawari-8'," Proceedings of the 67th IAC (International Astronautical Congress), Guadalajara, Mexico, Sept. 26-30, 2016, paper: IAC-16-C2.3.10
39) "Himawari Operation Enterprise and Mitsubishi Electric Complete Ground Facilities for Weather Satellite Operations," MELCO, October 7, 2013, URL: http://www.mitsubishielectric.com/news/2013/1007.pdf
41) "Dissemination via communication satellite: the HimawariCast service," JMA, Feb. 2015, http://www.data.jma.go.jp/mscweb/en/himawari89/himawari_cast/himawari_cast.html
42) "HimawariCast: dataset, JMA, Jan. 29, 2015, URL: http://www.data.jma.go.jp/mscweb/en/himawari89/himawari_cast/note/HimawariCast_dataset_en.pdf
43) "Distribution via Internet cloud service: the HimawariCloud service," JMA, URL: http://www.data.jma.go.jp/mscweb/en/himawari89/cloud_service/cloud_service.html
The information compiled and edited in this article was provided by Herbert J. Kramer from his documentation of: "Observation of the Earth and Its Environment: Survey of Missions and Sensors" (Springer Verlag) as well as many other sources after the publication of the 4th edition in 2002. - Comments and corrections to this article are always welcome for further updates (firstname.lastname@example.org).