DCS (Data Collection System)

Data Collection System of MTSAT

Introduction to DCS and DCP

The Data Collection System (DCS) of MTSAT is a relay system used to collect observational data from earth-based observing stations (Data Collection Platforms, or DCPs) that are located within the communication range of MTSAT. The DCS consists of MTSAT, its ground stations and DCPs. Typical DCPs are found in the form of weather stations at remote sites, tide/tsunami gauges, or instrumented aircraft/ships.


DCS is classified into the two categories of International DCS (IDCS) and Regional DCS (RDCS) depending on the range of movement of the supported DCPs. IDCS is designed to support DCPs on aircraft or balloons that move from the communication range of one satellite to another. RDCS is designed for DCPs located within the communication range of a satellite, such as those placed on isolated islands. DCPs on aircraft or balloons are supported by RDCS while moving within the communication range of a particular satellite.

The following sections give further details on MTSAT's RDCS (referred to below as MTSAT-DCS).

Data flow in MTSAT-DCS

Observational data measured by DCPs are transmitted to MTSAT, which in turn relays them to CDAS (the Command and Data Acquisition Station of the Meteorological Satellite Center (MSC) of JMA), one of the ground stations located in Hatoyama 60 km northwest of Tokyo. Data received at CDAS are demodulated and sent to MSC, another ground station located in suburban Tokyo. Data processed at MSC are handed over to JMA's main telecommunication system, and are then reported to DCP operators over the Global Telecommunication System (GTS) of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

For the sake of operators without a GTS network connection, JMA reports the collected DCP data by e-mail, and/or posts them on the MSC website in addition to delivery via the GTS. If DCP operators wish, the DCP data collected at MSC (JMA's Meteorological Satellite Center) through MTSAT can be delivered by e-mail to the operators and/or posted on the website managed by MSC. The website is available only to operators with an account and a password issued by JMA.

How to collect data using MTSAT-DCS?

MTSAT-DCS is available to organizations that operate DCPs within the communication range of MTSAT, provided that the DCP meets the criteria laid down by JMA. These DCPs are expected to work for the common good internationally in the field, such as conducting activities in the area of meteorological services. Those wishing to use MTSAT-DCS to acquire observed data should obtain consent from JMA. Please note that not all applications can be accepted due to the radio frequency channel availability limitations of MTSAT-DCS.

For further information on arrangement and technical matters, please refer to the page on potential DCP operating organizations.