News Release

The rapid scan research observations by MTSAT-2

Japan Meteorological Agency
3 Jul. 2006

MTSAT-1R and MTSAT-2 have functions to observe not only full earth and hemisphere but also limited particular area by rapid repetition scanning. Different from spinner satellites such as previous GMS series, three-axis control system enables MTSAT to make its imagers point to the earth all the time.

JMA has successfully obtained detailed images of Typhoon T0601 (CHANCHU) structure by MTSAT-2 as a part of in-orbit test on 15 May 2006. The observed area was square of about 1,000km longitudinally and latitudinally, and time interval is about 1 minute.

The figures and animations available below show the Typhoon's meso-scale structures such as detailed cloud system of eye-wall, cumulus convections genesis, rain bands and the wind shear in lower to middle layer of the troposphere around the Typhoon.

It is expected to, by using this observing function of MTSAT, make progress in investigations and understandings of the mechanisms of typhoons and severe storms. It is also expected to contribute to international observation research programmes such as THORPEX*, as one of the targeting observation methods.

*THORPEX: THe Observing system Research and Predictability EXperiment. THORPEX was established in May 2003 by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Congress as a ten-year international atmospheric research and a component of the World Weather Research Programme (WWRP). In Asia-Pacific region, in order to promote studies in dynamical process and predictability of typhoons and Baiu/Meiyu/Changma frontal zone, the targeting observation research is planned in cooperation with Japan, ROK, China and other countries in 2008.

A research observation of Typhoon T0601 (CHANCHU), 2006
Conditions of observation Animation of rapid scan imagery Normal visible image at the same time
Observation date
15 May 2006
Observation time
0402 UTC to 0517 UTC
Time interval / frequency
Per 64 seconds / 64 sampling
1,000 km squared
animation of rapid scan imagery
Note: this is a video file in avi format (8.0 MB); to download Windows Media Player is required.
Download Media Player
normal visible image at the same time
click image to enlarge
*The red square shows the area of targeting observation
Status of the Typhoon (0300 UTC)
Pressure at the center :
Location :
14.4 degrees North latitude, 115.4 degrees East longitude