Operational Status

Important Notice


HimawariCast Newsletter

Operation Information

Sun interference

The sun passes behind the JCSAT-2B communication satellite (C-band) as seen from its receiving station once a day during the equinox season. When this happens, radiation from the sun can cause loss or degradation of communications between the satellite and the receiving station. This phenomenon is referred to as sun interference, and can adversely affect or interrupt transmission.
See Sun Interference Prediction (external link) for details.


JMA started the HimawariCast service which disseminates primary sets of imagery via a communication satellite from January 2015.

The interval between full-disk observations by Himawari-8/9 is 10 minutes, which is much shorter than the 30/60 minutes of the MTSAT series. The HimawariCast service provides full-disk imagery with this high 10-minute observation frequency.

*MTSAT-2 imagery distribution services for L-band frequency High-Rate Information Transmission (HRIT) and Low-Rate Information Transmission (LRIT) via MTSAT-1R was discontinued on 4 December 2015.


Table 1 shows the dataset of the HimawariCast service.

Himawari imagery in full-disk HRIT/LRIT files compatible with MTSAT HRIT/LRIT data* is provided via the service. Files are disseminated every 10 minutes in principle. The number of bands of HRIT files is 14 out of 16. Additionally, 1 band of high-spatial-resolution and high-bit-rate infrared imagery is disseminated at night.

In addition, numerical weather prediction (NWP) products (GPV: 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.

Please see the links for details.

Table 1: The data set disseminated via HimawariCast
Data type Format Notes
* Parallel bzip2 (pbzip2) commands are used for bzip2 compression.
Himawari imagery

(full disk)
HRIT files

(Divided into 10 segments and compressed using bzip2*)
  • Interval: 10 minutes
  • Number of bands: 14
  • Spatial resolution: band-dependent
  • Sample data
LRIT files

(Divided into 10 segments and compressed using bzip2*)
  • Interval: 10 minutes
  • Number of bands: 4 (VIS, IR1, IR3, IR4)
  • Spatial resolution: 5 km
  • Sample data
Numerical weather prediction products (GPV) SATAID format

(Compressed using bzip2*)
  • JMA Global Spectral Model (GSM) products (48-hour forecast)
  • Interval: 6 hours
  • Spatial resolution: 1.25 degrees
In-situ observations

SATAID format

(Archived using tar and compressed using bzip2*)
  • Observational data for East Asia and Western Pacific regions
  • Interval: 30 minutes
ASCAT ocean surface wind

SATAID format

(Archived using tar and compressed using bzip2*)
  • Observational data from EUMETSAT's Metop polar-orbiting satellites
  • Interval: 30 minutes

System structure

Figure 1 shows an overview of the HimawariCast system structure.

HimawariCast system structure
Figure 1: HimawariCast system structure (click to enlarge)

Specifications of receiving equipment

The components of equipment for receiving HimawariCast data are detailed below along with related performance specification and settings.

Antenna diameters

Figure 2 shows antenna diameters that guarantee a circuit operating ratio of at least 99.5%

Diameters of antennas needed to receive HimawariCast data
Figure 2: Diameters of antennas* needed to receive HimawariCast data (click to enlarge)
* The contours of JCSAT-2B based on estimation might be different from real ones.


Computers that meet the following specifications are recommended.

Specifications (for Kencast client Ver.8)
Microsoft no longer supports for SQL Server 2005.

Specifications (for Kencast client Ver.9)
  • CPU: 2 GHz or more
    Memory: 4 GB or more (8 GB or more can be even better.)
  • Desktop OS: Windows 7, 8 ,8.1 ,10(64bit),Linux*
    Server OS: Windows Server 2008,2008R2,2012,2012R2(64bit)
  • Datacasting client software : KenCast Fazzt Professional Client Ver.9
    (Must be installed; no substitute available.)
  • Database software : Microsoft SQL Server 2008R2, 2012, 2014,
    Microsoft SQL server 2014 Express
Users should check Microsoft information on usable OS/SQL server combinations.
The performance of the SATAID program with KenCast Fazzt Professional Client Ver. 9 has been verified by JMA in actual usage. (27 June 2017)

As bzip2-compressed data will be disseminated as shown in Table 1, it is advisable to install decompression software such as 7-Zip. Software for processing and displaying received data is also required.

Configurations of the datacasting client software are as follows:
     Multicast address:
     Multicast port: 8001

* The datacasting client software also runs on Linux. However, PostgreSQL (7.4.0 or higher) as database software and Linux-ready drivers for DVB-S2 receiver, etc. are also required.

DVB-S2 receiver, low-noise block converter (LNB), band-pass filter (BPF)

A DVB-S2 receiver and an LNB with the following specifications and settings are required:

Type: DVB-S2
Modulation: QPSK
FEC: 3/5
Roll-off factor: 0.2
Symbol rate: 2,586.148 ksps
Frequency: 4,148.000 MHz (C-band)
Polarization: Linear (JCSAT-2B: horizontal)
Packet Identifier (PID): 1001 (0x3E9)

If the receiving station is affected by interference waves from other systems, protective measures such as the insertion of a band-pass filter (BPF) are recommended. The BPF should support receipt frequencies of 4.148 GHz.


For reference, DVB-S2 receiver, antenna, LNB and BPF examples are listed below:

DVB-S2 receivers

  • Novra S300 DVB-S2 Data Receiver
  • Comtech CMR-5975 Media Router S2
  • Advantech Wireless S4020 Receive-Only Terminals


  • VIKING satcom Prodelin P240FAE


  • Norsat C-BAND PLL LNB 3120F (single-polarized)
  • NJRC C-BAND PLL LNB NJS8486H (single-polarized )


  • Satcom MFC Series 7893D C-Band Band-pass Filter

Software for processing and displaying received data

To support the processing and display of received data, JMA has released software as one option to convert HRIT files into SATAID format and display satellite imagery with overlaying numerical weather prediction GPV data on a PC. The software runs on Windows with 8 GB or more memory. The performance of KenCast Fazzt Professional Client Ver. 9 has been verified by JMA in actual usage.


JMA provides no guarantees regarding the correctness, accuracy, reliability or any other aspect of this software.


While registration is not required to use the HimawariCast service, registered users can receive service information and updates by e-mail from JMA. Users wishing to register should submit the form below by e-mail or post.


Satellite Program Division, Information Infrastructure Department
Japan Meteorological Agency
3-6-9 Toranomon, Minato City, Tokyo 105-8431, Japan
Tel.: +81-3-6758-3900 (ext. 3305)