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Receiving Images from Geostationary Weather Satellite Himawari-8 via HimawariCast

Himawari-8 is the Japanese Meteorological Agencys primary meteorological satellite which replaced MTSAT-2 in mid-2015. The termination of the MTSAT series ended L-band LRIT/HRIT direct-broadcast services which dated back to the start of the GMS series in the late 1970s. The current series of Himawari satellites instead disseminate processed data through a service called HimawariCast.

HimawariCast Downlink

HimawariCast is uplinked by JMA to a C-band transponder on JCSAT-2B (154˚E), as opposed to the GOES-16/17 or GK-2A satellites which have on-board L-band direct-broadcast transponders.

Overview of the HimawariCast system (Image: JMA/BOM)

Frequency 4148 MHz
Type DVB-S2
Modulation QPSK
Symbol Rate 2586.148 kSps
Bandwidth ~3.1 MHz
FEC 3/5
Roll-off 20%
Polarisation Horizontal
Beam/Footprint C-band Global

Receiver Hardware

One option is a TBS6902 (or similar) DVB-S2 PCIe Tuner which can be found for under $150 on eBay.

Another (unexplored) option is an SDR capable of at least 4Msps such as the Airspy or SDRplay and a GNURadio based DVB-S2 receiver.