News Release

Launch schedule of MTSAT-1R and its provisional dissemination schedule/timetable

Japan Meteorological Agency
8 Dec. 2004

Launch schedule of MTSAT-1R

On 8th of December 2004, the launch plan of MTSAT-1R (Multi-functional Transport SATellite-1R) is authorized for this winter period, i.e. by the end of February 2005 by the Space Activity Commission (SAC) of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) of Japan.

MTSAT-1R, the succeeding satellite to GMS-5 carrying meteorological payload and aeronautical payload, is planned to be launched by the improved H-IIA Launch Vehicle. JMA plans to begin providing satellite imagery from MTSAT-1R in two or three months after the launch.

Features of MTSAT-1R

MTSAT-1R will deploy a new imager with a new channel (IR4) in addition to existing four channels (VIS, IR1, IR2 and IR3) of GMS-5. IR4 channel is expected to be effective in detecting low-level cloud/fog at night. In addition to hourly full-disk imagery, MTSAT-1R will provide hourly Northern-Hemisphere imagery; i.e. imagery for Northern Hemisphere will be available every thirty minutes.

Provisional dissemination schedule and provisional timetable

1. Provisional timetable of observation and imagery dissemination from MTSAT-1R (see Table 1)

The provisional timetable of observation and imagery dissemination from MTSAT-1R is given in Table 1. JMA will finalize the timetable after the in-orbit test of MTSAT-1R.

2. Provisional dissemination schedule before and after the start of MTSAT-1R operation (see Table 2)

MTSAT-1R will provide two kinds of new imagery, HRIT and LRIT. In addition, HiRID, compatible with S-VISSR imagery of GMS-5, and WEFAX imagery will be provided as transition measures for users of imagery currently being disseminated through GMS-5 with the backup of GOES-9 of NOAA/NESDIS. Broadcasting service of HiRID and WEFAX imagery will be continued toward the end of 2007, with possible slight modification subject to the actual date of launch.

Via landline

While JMA will continue providing imagery via landline for the time being as one of the transition measures for users going to receive HRIT derived from MTSAT-1R observation, JMA will change over from providing current S-VISSR type imagery (IR ch1) derived from GOES-9 observations as the backup operation of GMS-5 to providing HRIT (IR ch1).

For updated information

Electronic files of attachments and other information regarding MTSAT-1R are available at the following web site where those information will be duly updated: If necessary, you may wish to avail imagery users in your country of the information in this letter and the web site.

JMA will provide the individual Members of the RA-II of the WMO with such further information as the launch date and finalized timetable in due course.