The first images from the Advanced Himawari Imager (AHI) onboard Himawari-9, Japan’s newest weather satellite, reveal striking details about the weather patterns in the Pacific Ocean area (see photo). The AHI system, built by Harris Corp. for Mitsubishi and the Himawari-9 satellite, provides higher-resolution images with greater speed and accuracy than previous satellite-based imaging systems, arming meteorologists with more detailed information about weather patterns.

The AHI captures images of Japan 12× faster than earlier systems and captures images of the full Earth more than 3× faster than legacy imaging systems. “The similar Himawari-8 already has been very helpful in providing greater detail and predicting the paths of several typhoons in the Pacific Ocean,” said Eric Webster, vice president and general manager of Harris Environmental Solutions  “These innovative Harris imagers also benefit airlines by distinguishing between smoke, sand/dust and, volcanic ash, which can interfere with flight operations.”

The AHI leverages similar technology used for the Harris-built Advanced Baseline Imager onboard the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-16 (GOES-16) weather satellite, launched last Nov. 19 by NASA and the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).