1. Summary

The geostationary meteorological satellites of Japan have been nicknamed as "Himawari" but we also have a period when the name was not "Himawari." This page summarizes information about recent geostationary meteorological satellites. For your information, satellite images are accessible at Digital Typhoon and Himawari-8 - Third-Generation Weather Satellite.

2. Difference of Meteorological Satellites

Those meteorological satellites are located in different positions and equipped with sensors with different characteristics as shown below. We also provide related information in the page of Typhoon 200303, which was happened to be active at the time of the switchover.

Himawari-5 (GMS-5) GOES-9 Himawari-6 (MTSAT-1R) / Himawari-7 (MTSAT-2) Himawari-8 / Himawari-9
Visible (VIS) 0.55-0.90 um @ (1.25km / 6bits) 0.55-0.75 um @ (1km / 10bits) 0.55-0.90 um @ (1km / 10bits) 0.47, 0.51, 0.64* um @ (0.5*-1km / bits)
Infrared 1 (IR1) 10.5-11.5 um @ (5km / 8bits) 10.2-11.2 um @ (4km / 10bits) 10.3-11.3 um @ (4km / 10bits) 10.4, 11.2 um @ (2km / bits)
Infrared 2 (IR2) 11.5-12.5 um @ (5km / 8bits) 11.5-12.5 um @ (4km / 10bits) 11.5-12.5 um @ (4km / 10bits) 12.4, 13.3 um @ (2km / bits)
Infrared 3 (IR3) 6.5-7.0 um @ (5km / 8bits) 6.50-7.00 um @ (8km / 10bits) 6.5-7.0 um @ (4km / 10bits) 6.2, 6.9, 7.3, 8.6, 9.6 um @ (2km / bits)
Infrared 4 (IR4) Not Available 3.80-4.00 um @ (4km / 10bits) 3.5-4.0 um @ (4km / 10bits) 3.9 um @ (2km / bits)
Near Infrared (NIR) Not Available Not Available Not Available 0.86*, 1.6, 2.3 um @ (1*-2km / bits)
Frequency 1 hour 1 hour 1 hour (two observations in one hour for the northern and the southern hemisphere) 10 minutes
Position (Equator / 35,800km above) 140 E 155 E 140 E (MTSAT-2 in standby at 145 E) 140.7 E
Coverage GMS-5 Coverage GOES-9 Coverage MTSAT-1R Coverage Himawari-8 Coverage

3. History of 'the Successor of Himawari' Problem

The successor of Himawari, MTSAT-1R, was launched successfully on February 26, 2005. The real-time report and other technical information was provided at MTSAT-1R / H-IIA F7 Countdown. Also I reported the launch from the site on the weblog Keeping Track of MTSAT! (in Japanese). The following briefly summarizes the chronology of the launch of MTSAT-1R, although most links (simply written as "Link") are written in Japanese.

On June 28, 2005, the geostationary meteorolgical satellite of Japan is switched over to Himawari-6 (MTSAT-1R). The satellite has been GOES-9 since May 22, 2003, but the satellite now returned to the series of "Himawari" satellites. Other latest information about Himawari-6 is also updated at Keeping Track of MTSAT! (in Japanese).

Chronology

1999-11-15 Failure of the launch of MTSAT-1 (Successor of Himawari) by the H-II rocket Link1 :: Link2
2001-11-15 The postponement of the launch of MTSAT-1R from the beginning of 2003 to the summer of 2003 due to the delay of a procedure to obtain the export permit Link1
2002-05-10 Decision was made for renting American meteorological satellite GOES-9 due to the delay of he launch of MTSAT-1R Link1
2002-12-19 The beginning of movement of American meteorological satellite GOES-9 for switching over the observation from Himawari satellite Link1
2003-04-22 The re-postponement of the launch of MTSAT-1R due to the trouble of infrared sensors Link1 :: Link2
2003-05-22 The switchover from GMS-5 (Himawari-5) to GOES-9 From Himawari-5 to GOES-9
2003-07-15 The bankruptcy of Space Systems Loral, the company in charge of the production of MTSAT-1R LORAL REACHES AGREEMENT TO SELL SIX SATELLITES TO INTELSAT FOR UP TO $1.1 BILLION; FILES VOLUNTARY CHAPTER 11 PETITION AS PRECONDITION TO TRANSACTION
2003-08-07 Space Systems Loral claiming 30 million dollars for additional cost
2003-10-12 The rejection of temporary restraining order asking for the continuation of the MTSAT-1R production process Link1 :: Link2 :: Link3 :: Link4
2003-11-29 The failure of the launch of a H2A rocket, planned to be used for the launch of MTSAT-1R Satellite image of the day :: Link1 :: Link2 :: Link3 :: Link4 :: Link5
2004-01-30 Agreement on the delivery of MTSAT-1R in March 2004 Link1 :: Link2
2004-03-12 Carrying-in of MTSAT-1R into Tanegashima Link1
2004-12-08 The decision of the Launch of MTSAT-1R Link1 :: Link2
2005-01-19 The launch of MTSAT-1R decided on February 24 Link1 :: Link2
2005-02-26 The success of the launch of MTSAT-1R by the H-IIA F7 Rocket Link1 :: Link2 :: Link3 :: Keeping Track of MTSAT!
2005-03-08 The reach of MTSAT-1R to the geostationary trajectory and the decision of its nickname to "Himawari-6" Link2 :: Keeping Track of MTSAT!
2005-03-24 The release of first observation images by Himawari-6 Link1 :: Link2 :: First impression
2005-06-22 MTSAT-1R to be in operation from 03UTC on 28 June 2005 News Release
2005-06-28 Himawari-6 (MTSAT-1R) started its operation at 0300 UTC News Release :: Digital Typhoon: Notice: About Himawari-6 Satellite and the Period of Transition
2005-07-21 The termination of Himawari-5's operation Farewell to Himawari-5 (in Japanese)
2006-02-18 The success of the launch of MTSAT-2 by the H-IIA F9 Rocket Link1 :: Launch Result of the Multi-functional Transport Satellite 2 (MTSAT-2) by the H-IIA Launch Vehicle No.9 (H-IIA F9) :: Keeping Track of MTSAT!
2006-02-24 MTSAT-2 is nicknamed as "Himawari-7" News Release (in Japanese)
2006-05-11 First images from MTSAT-2 (Himawari-7) First images from MTSAT-2 :: First images from MTSAT-2 :: Keeping Track of MTSAT!

4. Effect on Weather Prediction

5. Meteorological Satellite Image Databases

6. Related Links