Himawari 8


Himawari 8
Mission typeWeather satellite
COSPAR ID2014-060A
SATCAT no.40267
Mission duration8 years (planned)
Spacecraft properties
ManufacturerMitsubishi Electric
Launch mass3500 kg
Dry mass1300 kg
Power2.6 kilowatts from solar array
Start of mission
Launch date7 October 2014, 05:16 (2014-10-07UTC05:16Z) UTC
RocketH-IIA 202
Launch siteTanegashima LA-Y1
ContractorMitsubishi Heavy Industries
Entered service7 July 2015, 02:00 UTC[1]
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGeocentric
Longitude140.7° East
Perigee altitude35,791 km (22,239 mi)[2]
Apogee altitude35,795 km (22,242 mi)[2]
Inclination0.03 degrees[2]
Period1436.13 minutes[2]
Epoch22 January 2015, 22:13:28 UTC[2]

Himawari 8 (ひまわり8号) is a Japanese weather satellite, the 8th of the Himawari geostationary weather satellites operated by the Japan Meteorological Agency. The spacecraft was constructed by Mitsubishi Electric with assistance from Boeing, and is the first of two similar satellites to be based on the DS-2000 satellite bus.[3] Himawari 8 entered operational service on 7 July 2015 and is the successor to MTSAT-2 (Himawari 7) which was launched in 2006.


Himawari 8 was launched atop a H-IIA rocket flying from the Yoshinobu Launch Complex Pad 1 at the Tanegashima Space Center.[4] The launch occurred at 05:16 UTC on 7 October 2014 and reached its operational geostationary orbit in October 2014, at 35,786 kilometers[5] and 140.7 degrees East.[6]

Himawari 9, which is identical to Himawari 8, was launched on 2 November 2016 and placed in a stand-by orbit until 2022, when it is planned to succeed Himawari 8.


The role of Himawari 8 is to provide typhoon, rainstorm, weather forecast and other related reports for Japan, East Asia, and Western Pacific region. It is also responsible for ensuring the safety of ships, aviation and observing the environment of the earth.[7]


The DS2000 satellite bus has a lifespan of 15 years, however the expected operational lifespan of Himawari 8 is expected to be limited by its instruments which are only designed for 8 years of service. At launch, the mass of the satellite was about 3,500 kilograms (7,700 lb). Power is supplied by a single gallium arsenide solar panel, which provides up to 2.6 kilowatts of power.[8]


The primary instrument aboard Himawari 8, the Advanced Himawari Imager (AHI), is a 16 channel multispectral imager to capture visible light and infrared images of the Asia-Pacific region.[8] The instrument was designed and built by Exelis Geospatial Systems (now Harris Space & Intelligence Systems) and has similar spectral and spatial characteristics to the Advanced Baseline Imager (ABI) used in the American GOES-16, -17, -T, and -U satellites. The AHI can produce images with a resolution down to 500m and can provide full disk observations every 10 mins and images of Japan every 2.5 minutes.[8] The Australian Bureau of Meteorology CEO Dr Rob Vertessy stated that Himawari 8 "generates about 50 times more data than the previous satellite".[9] A recent study reported that Himawari-8 had acquired cloud-free observations every 4 days, while capturing the seasonal changes of vegetation in the cloud-prone region of Southeast Asia more accurately than before.[10]

Data recorded from the Japanese Himawari 8 will be made freely available for use by meteorological agencies in other countries.[9]

Its temporal and spatial resolution enables it to observe disastrous events in remote places, such as volcanic eruptions. The Himawari satellite was able to capture the Tianjin explosions in 2015.[11]

Imager Specifications[12]






at SSP (km)

Central wavelength (μm)
0.47 1 1 0.47063
0.51 2 1 0.51000
0.64 3 0.5 0.63914
0.86 4 1 0.85670
1.6 5 2 1.6101
2.3 6 2 2.2568
3.9 7 2 3.8853
6.2 8 2 6.2429
6.9 9 2 6.9410
7.3 10 2 7.3467
8.6 11 2 8.5926
9.6 12 2 9.6372
10.4 13 2 10.4073
11.2 14 2 11.2395
12.4 15 2 12.3806
13.3 16 2 13.2807

The Space Environmental Data Acquisition Monitor (SEDA) is the second instrument aboard Himawari 8, and it consists of two sensors: SEDA-e for detecting high energy electrons and SEDA-p for detecting high energy protons.[13] SEDA-e is a single element with 8 stacked charge collecting plates.[14] It has an energy range of 0.2-4.5 MeV and a field of view of ±78.3°.[13] SEDA-p consists of 8 separate proton telescope elements.[14] In total SEDA-e has an energy range of 15-100 MeV and a field of view of ±39.35°. Both sensors have a time resolution of 10 seconds.[13] The data from this instrument is transmitted to a ground station in Saitama, Japan with a Ka-band signal, and is ultimately provided to the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT) for use monitoring space weather events along the Japanese meridian.[13][15]



  1. ^ "静止気象衛星「ひまわり8号」の運用開始日について" (in Japanese). Japan Meteorological Agency. Retrieved 27 May 2015.
  2. ^ a b c d e Peat, Chris (22 January 2015). "HIMAWARI 8 - Orbit". Heavens-Above. Retrieved 25 January 2015.
  3. ^ Graham, William. "Japan lofts Himawari 8 weather satellite via H-IIA rocket". NASASpaceflight.com. Retrieved 7 October 2014.
  4. ^ Clark, Stephen. "H-2A rocket boosts Japanese weather satellite into orbit". Spaceflight Now. Retrieved 7 October 2014.
  5. ^ "Satellite: Himawari-8". OSCAR.
  6. ^ "JMA/MSC: Himawari-8/9". Japan Meteorological Agency. Retrieved 7 October 2014.
  7. ^ "New geostationary meteorological satellites — Himawari-8/9 —" (PDF). 2016-05-19. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-05-19. Retrieved 2020-02-27.
  8. ^ a b c "New geostationary meteorological satellites — Himawari-8/9 —" (PDF). Japan Meteorological Agency. Retrieved 7 October 2014.
  9. ^ a b "Spectacular new era in satellite meteorology unveiled". Australian Bureau of Meteorology. Commonwealth of Australia. 30 September 2015. Retrieved 30 September 2015.
  10. ^ Miura, Tomoaki; Nagai, Shin; Takeuchi, Mika; Ichii, Kazuhito; Yoshioka, Hiroki (2019-10-30). "Improved Characterisation of Vegetation and Land Surface Seasonal Dynamics in Central Japan with Himawari-8 Hypertemporal Data". Scientific Reports. 9 (1): 15692. doi:10.1038/s41598-019-52076-x. ISSN 2045-2322. PMC 6821777. PMID 31666582.
  11. ^ "Tianjin explosions visible from space". The Guardian. 2015-08-13. Retrieved 2019-03-28.
  12. ^ "JMA/MSC: Himawari-8/9 Imager (AHI)". www.data.jma.go.jp. Retrieved 2020-03-04.
  13. ^ a b c d Nagatsuma, T., Sakaguchi, K., Kubo, Y. et al. Space environment data acquisition monitor onboard Himawari-8 for space environment monitoring on the Japanese meridian of geostationary orbit. Earth Planets Space 69, 75 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1186/s40623-017-0659-6
  14. ^ a b Jiggens, P.; Clavie, C.; Evans, H.; O'Brien, T. P.; Witasse, O.; Mishev, A. L.; Nieminen, P.; Daly, E.; Kalegaev, V.; Vlasova, N.; Borisov, S. (2019). "In Situ Data and Effect Correlation During September 2017 Solar Particle Event". Space Weather. 17 (1): 99–117. doi:10.1029/2018SW001936. ISSN 1542-7390.
  15. ^ Bessho, Kotaro; Date, Kenji; Hayashi, Masahiro; Ikeda, Akio; Imai, Takahito; Inoue, Hidekazu; Kumagai, Yukihiro; Miyakawa, Takuya; Murata, Hidehiko; Ohno, Tomoo; Okuyama, Arata (2016). "An Introduction to Himawari-8/9— Japan's New-Generation Geostationary Meteorological Satellites". Journal of the Meteorological Society of Japan. Ser. II. 94 (2): 151–183. doi:10.2151/jmsj.2016-009.

External links

  • Media related to Himawari 8 images at Wikimedia Commons
  • Meteorological Satellite Center of JMA
  • JMA Satellite Imagery, providing infrared, vapor and true-color Himawari 8 imageries every 30 minutes
  • Himawari-8 Real-time Web from NICT, providing full-disc pictures of true color and all 16 bands every 10 minutes
  • RealEarth™ including imageries from all 16 bands of Himawari 8
  • Himawari-8 - Third-Generation Weather Satellite from Digital Typhoon
  • Himawari 8 3D model from Asahi Shinbun
  • Glittering Blue Time lapsed imagery from Himawari 8
  • A Year Along the Geostationary Orbit on Vimeo. An animation made from visible and infrared images taken by Himawari 8 from December 21st, 2015 to December 21st, 2016.