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Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency

Weather information technology


April 1, 2015

"ALWIN," a joint development project between JAXA and the Japan Meteorological Agency, gets ready to go into practical use

The Japan Meteorological Agency has announced that it will launch system development to prepare the "Airport Low-level Wind InformatioN" (ALWIN) system, which the organization developed with JAXA, for practical applications beginning in FY2016.

Based on observational data from the airport weather Doppler lidar and radar units that the Japan Meteorological Agency has installed at Narita International Airport and other locations, ALWIN uses JAXA’s weather information technology to send information on wind conditions in the landing approach path to airline dispatchers and pilots. With ALWIN, pilots can obtain the latest information available not only by communicating verbally with controllers and dispatchers via radio but also by using the Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System (ACARS)—a datalink system in use on most passenger aircraft. This functionality gives pilots advance warning of changes in wind patterns, making aircraft operations safer and more efficient.

Web-based screen for dispatchers

Pilots can obtain the latest wind information from ALWIN via ACARS
while they fly their aircraft (Photo courtesy of Japan Airlines Co., Ltd.)