2016 Volume 94 Issue 2 Pages 151-183
Himawari-8/9—a new generation of Japanese geostationary meteorological satellites-carry state-of-the-art optical sensors with significantly higher radiometric, spectral, and spatial resolution than those previously available in the geostationary orbit. They have 16 observation bands, and their spatial resolution is 0.5 or 1 km for visible and near-infrared bands and 2 km for infrared bands. These advantages, when combined with shortened revisit times (around 10 min for Full Disk and 2.5 min for sectored regions), provide new levels of capacity for the identification and tracking of rapidly changing weather phenomena and for the derivation of quantitative products. For example, fundamental cloud product is retrieved from observation data of Himawari-8 operationally. Based on the fundamental cloud product, Clear Sky Radiance and Atmospheric Motion Vector are processed for numerical weather prediction, and volcanic ash product and Aeolian dust product are created for disaster watching and environmental monitoring. Imageries from the satellites are distributed and disseminated to users via multiple paths, including Internet cloud services and communication satellite services.