Weather Disaster Reduction and Mitigation Solutions Supporting People's Lives
Observation and Prediction of Heavy Rainfall and Social Roles of Such Activities
Toshiba Weather Disaster Reduction and Mitigation Solutions Contributing to Realization of Safe and Secure Society
YAGINUMA Ryoichi / ANDO Yasuhiro / KAWANO Shuichi
With the recent increase in large-scale weather disasters, damage caused by such disasters is becoming increasingly severe year by year. Toshiba has been designing and manufacturing weather radars to observe these hazardous weather phenomena for more than 60 years. Our development of new types of weather radars such as world's first commercial solid-state weather radar applying high-power microwave semiconductor technologies and the provision of various disaster reduction solutions based on second-order analyses using precise weather data are significantly contributing to the field of meteorological observation in Japan, which is considered to be an advanced country in terms of disaster reduction.
With regard to disaster reduction countermeasures in other countries, however, there are many countries and regions that have been unable to fully introduce observation instruments. In order to reduce weather disasters worldwide, we have been promoting not only the international standardization of specifications for weather radars but also the optimization of observation data for weather disaster reduction and mitigation solutions, and are making efforts to construct the optimal system for each region in order to enhance the safety and security of the local residents' lives.
Technologies for Weather Radars to Achieve Highly Precise Wide-Area Observation of Precipitation
WADA Masakazu / MUTO Ryuichi
The recent increase in disasters caused by anomalous weather events including localized torrential rainfall and wind gusts has become a social issue. Demand has therefore been increasing for the development of weather observation technologies to facilitate the provision of disaster reduction information.
Toshiba has been developing cutting-edge weather radars offering superior performance in observing rainfall conditions over a wide area utilizing its industry-leading radar technologies; namely, solid-state transmitter technologies for multiparameter (MP) observations and phased-array radar technologies for three-dimensional weather observations. We have been making continuous efforts to realize the safe and secure operation of social infrastructure systems through the introduction of such evolving technologies for weather radars.
X-Band 130 W-Class GaN HEMT for SSPAs in Radar Systems
YAMAMURA Takuji / KURODA Kenta / SAKURAI Hiroyuki
Toshiba has developed an X-band (8-12 GHz) 130 W-class gallium nitride (GaN) high electron mobility transistor (HEMT) device for solid-state power amplifiers (SSPAs) used in weather and marine radar systems.
This GaN HEMT device achieves a saturated power output of 144 W and a power-added efficiency (PAE) of 52% under pulsed operation at 9.0 GHz (duty ratio: 10%; pulse width: 100 µs) through improvement of the chip structure of existing GaN HEMT devices and enhancement of performance by applying a matching circuit to control harmonic components based on active load-pull measurement. SSPAs employing the newly developed GaN HEMT device are expected to contribute to the accelerated dissemination of X-band radar systems offering high-precision observation capabilities together with compact dimensions, light weight, and long operating life.
Phased-Array Weather Radar to Sense Signs of Extreme Weather Events Including Torrential Rainfall
MIZUTANI Fumihiko / GOTOH Hideto
The major cause of extreme weather events, such as torrential rainfall, thunderstorms, sudden gusts of wind, hailstorms, and so on, is the rapid growth of cumulonimbus clouds within a short time span of about 10 to 30 minutes. To accurately grasp the growth of cumulonimbus clouds, a weather radar system must be able to perform both three-dimensional (3D) observations within a time frame of one minute and multiparameter (MP) observations using dual polarization.
Toshiba has already developed a phased-array weather radar for 3D weather observations, which can observe weather within a radius of 60 km and at altitudes up to 16 km with only one horizontal rotation of the antenna, while reducing the time required for observation to only 10 to 30 seconds. We are now developing technologies for key components to realize a dual-polarization phased-array weather radar, including a dual-polarized phased-array antenna as well as transmitter and receiver modules.
Sensor Fusion System for Comprehensive Observation of Weather Phenomena
YUGE Nobuko / KIDA Satoshi
As a result of the attention being focused on reducing the damage caused by natural disasters and improving the operational efficiency of natural-energy electricity generation systems, there is a growing need for advanced observation technologies to provide a broader understanding of weather phenomena.
Toshiba has been promoting the development of sensor fusion systems not only for the observation of meteorological parameters by integrating various meteorological sensors, but also for the comprehensive management and utilization of such meteorological data. As part of these efforts, we have developed a phased-array weather radar and Doppler lidar fusion system that makes it possible to observe the three-dimensional distribution of rainfall and wind velocity as well as a wide range of other meteorological elements, and delivered the system to the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT). This system is equipped with a large monitor display incorporating various functions including a quick-look function to access observation data using a Web browser and a function to simultaneously display combined data by overlaying multiple sensor data, to facilitate the effective analysis of observation data. The newly developed system is expected to contribute to the understanding and prediction of extreme weather phenomena such as localized torrential rainfall.
Sewerage Operation Support System Utilizing Rainfall Radars
TAKAHASHI Kiyohiro / UMEDA Kenji / WADA Masakazu
With the frequent occurrence of flood damage in recent years caused by localized torrential downpours, countermeasures against weather risks have become increasingly important. In order to protect urban areas from flood damage by rapidly responding to localized torrential rainfall, it is essential for operators of sewerage facilities to grasp accurate information in accordance with the rainfall conditions.
Toshiba has been developing and supplying various sewerage operation support systems to municipalities by integrating its proprietary technologies for rainfall radars, prediction technologies, and information and communication technologies (ICTs) for data processing and distribution. These sewerage operation support systems facilitate the effective operation of sewerage facilities and contribute to the reduction of flood damage by providing prompt and accurate information related to localized torrential rainfall.