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September 26, 2022

Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation

NTT and JAMSTEC Begin Joint Research on Advanced Ocean-Atmosphere Observations
--Achieving Global Environment Simulation and Contributing to Understanding, Regeneration, and Preservation of the Global Environment--

NTT Corporation (Head Office: Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo; Akira Shimada, President & CEO; "NTT") and Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (Headquarters: Kanagawa-ken, Yokosuka-shi; Hiroyuki Yamato, President; "JAMSTEC*1") have entered a joint research agreement on "Research of Ultra-wide-area Ocean-Atmosphere Observations."
 The plan is to research and develop "ultra-wide-area ocean-atmosphere observation technology" including environmental simulations on a global scale and to conduct verification trials to help understand, regenerate, and preserve the global environment.

1. Background

Damage due to extreme weather phenomena such as typhoons and linear rainbands (called senjo kosuitai in Japan) has been increasing in recent years. The Japan Meteorological Agency aims to achieve advanced disaster-prevention weather information starting with improvements in the accuracy of forecasts and to improve regional disaster-prevention capabilities such as by providing information and commentaries at times of emergency*2.
 To increase the accuracy of forecasting extreme weather such as typhoons and linear rainbands, it is important to not only improve the accuracy of numerical prediction models but also to enrich observation data and to analyze, in particular, typhoons and sea surface temperature. The thorough collection of observation data is therefore essential. Here, regular real-time observations throughout vast maritime waters must be conducted for thoroughly collecting and analyzing observation data. Although the Japan Meteorological Agency observes ocean water vapor using Japan Meteorological Agency research vessels and Japan Coast Guard survey vessels and observes the altitude distribution of water vapor from land using microwave radiometers*3, there are still physical limitations to such observations.
 To solve this problem, there is a need for research and development on finding solutions to many technical issues unique to the open seas different from those on land such as means of communication and supply of electric power.

2. Overview of joint research

NTT is pursuing solutions to technical issues toward advanced "ocean-atmosphere observations" through joint research with JAMSTEC, a comprehensive research institution covering marine science and technology in Japan. In this way, NTT seeks to enrich observation data in maritime waters including unexplored areas and to understand, regenerate, and preserve the global environment by conducting environmental simulations on a global scale.
 This joint research will work toward enhancing "ocean-atmosphere observations" by linking "ultra-wide-area ocean-atmosphere observation technology" targeted by NTT and JAMSTEC's "marine science and technology." It will contribute to improving the accuracy of global environmental simulations by enriching observation data continually in real time in maritime waters including unexplored areas in an increasingly extreme global environment.

Main joint research themes:

  • Ocean-atmosphere observations in the Pacific Ocean by oceanographic research vessel MIRAI
  • Development of real-time sensing technology by satellite communication units and observation equipment
  • Use of observation data in global environmental simulations conducted by NTT
  • Technical studies of observation equipment for ocean-atmosphere observations
  • Testing of communication technologies and study of requirements in satellite communications for ocean-atmosphere observations

NTT's role:

  • Development of prototype satellite IoT observation equipment
  • Development of LPWA*4 communication units
  • Development of radiosonde*5 transceivers

JAMSTEC's role

  • Sharing of observation opportunities in the tropical western Pacific
  • Observation operations
  • Sharing of communication issues in maritime observations, etc.

This joint research will conduct ocean-atmosphere observations in areas where typhoons tend to occur, collect observation data, and test the extraction and sharing of technical problems related to an "ultra-wide-area ocean-atmosphere observation platform."

3. Future developments

Assuming the use of services to be provided by the "Space Integrated Computing Network" project, the goal is to construct an "ultra-wide-area ocean-atmosphere observation platform" that will enable wide-range and real-time observations beyond present capabilities and the collection of observation data related to weather and the environment. This will involve the development of a sensing system that can communicate with low-earth-orbit satellites and high altitude platform stations (HAPSs) floating above the earth at high altitudes.
 Specifically, this joint effort will study requirements for satellite IoT sensors and conduct R&D on such topics as sensor selection corresponding to measurement items, weatherproofing requirements according to installation location such as above or in the ocean, communication systems with satellites according to transmission speed and frequency, antenna design, and power consumption.
 It will also open up destinations for using collected observation data and demonstrate the usefulness of this data while also researching and developing an observation platform that can meet the needs of a wide range of fields.
 Ocean-atmosphere observations will not simply target "weather prediction." By collecting extensive data related to the global environment and achieving global environmental simulations, this joint research seeks to contribute to the understanding, regeneration, and preservation of the global environment.

*1Announcement from JAMSTEC on this matter: other window

*2Excerpted from "FY2022 Japan Meteorological Agency Budget Overview": other window

*3Excerpted from "Academia-Government Collaboration on Improving Prediction Accuracy of Linear Rainbands (July 26, 2022 Press Briefing at Fukuoka Regional Headquarters, JMA)": other window

*4LPWA:Short for "Low Power Wide Area" that refers to low-power, wide-area wireless communications that can achieve low-power/long-distance communications applicable to IoT/M2M.

*5Radiosonde: Refers to equipment attached to a balloon for measuring temperature, humidity, and atmospheric pressure in the upper atmosphere and transmitting measured values to earth by radio.

Media Contact

NTT Information Network Laboratory Group
Planning Department, Public Relations Section

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