The Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) plans to launch Himawari-8 and -9 in summer 2014 and 2016, respectively, to enhance public safety and security through relaying sophisticated weather data contributing to disaster prevention and monitoring global environment. The ground operations system designed, built and installed by Mitsubishi Electric, consists of antennas with a 9-meter 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. Through their involvement in weather satellite operations, the two companies will continue to contribute to disaster prevention and monitoring global environment. The system features include:
- Double redundant configuration for stable and accurate operations—A two-unit operation scheme ensures stable and consistent observation data transmission to JMA. Each unit features a redundant configuration including antennas with a 9-meter diameter
- Timely retrieval of observation data—Thanks to the system’s alignment to the geographical coverage area of Himawari-8 and -9, observation data can be retrieved once every 2.5 minutes (up to 576 times per day), enabling the provision of up-to-the-minute information on typhoons, rainstorms and other climatic anomalies by geographic sectors. Previously, data retrieval was limited to once per day
- Reducing labor—The introduction of an integrated system simultaneously monitoring the two satellites and both ground units enables manpower to be reduced over a 15-year period
Himawari Operation Enterprise and Mitsubishi Electric will soon begin comprehensive system tests and personnel training for satellite operations for Himawari-8 under the supervision of JMA. Mitsubishi Electric, which is contracted by JMA to build and deliver Himawari-8 and -9, received the manufacturing order for antennas with a 9-meter diameter, radio frequency equipment and satellite control equipment from Himawari Operation Enterprise in September 2010.