DCS (Data Collection System)

Data Collection System of Himawari

Introduction to DCS and DCP

The Data Collection System (DCS) of Himawari 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 Himawari. The DCS consists of Himawari, 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.

The name MTSAT-DCS was changed to Himawari-DCS with the operational satellite switchover in July 2015. DCP stations using MTSAT-DCS are able to use Himawari-DCS with no change in DCP antenna direction or DCP settings and no reapplication to JMA.


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 Himawari's RDCS (referred to below as Himawari-DCS).

Data flow in Himawari-DCS

Observational data measured by DCPs are transmitted to Himawari, which in turn relays them to the ground stations operated by the Himawari Operation Enterprise Corporation (HOPE). Data received at HOPE are demodulated and sent to the the Meteorological Satellite Center (MSC) of JMA. 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 through Himawari 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 Himawari-DCS?

Himawari-DCS is available to organizations that operate DCPs within the communication range of Himawari, 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 Himawari-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 Himawari-DCS.

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