Milestones:Mount Fuji Radar System, 1964


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Mount Fuji, Japan
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Mount Fuji Radar System, 1964

Mount Fuji, Japan, March 2000 - IEEE Nagoya Section

Completed in 1964 as the highest weather radar in the world in the pre-satellite era, the Mount Fuji Radar System almost immediately warned of a major storm over 800 km away. In addition to advancing the technology of weather radar, it pioneered aspects of remote-control and low-maintenance of complex electronic systems. The radar was planned by the Japan Meteorological Agency and constructed by Mitsubishi Electric Corporation.

Due to its geographic location, Japan has four distinct seasons and, therefore, enjoys a variety of weather. However, the effects of sudden climatic changes, such as heavy snow, rain and typhoons, can be disastrous.

Forewarning of impending adverse weather conditions is extremely important, and Japan has expended considerable effort in setting up an adequate and accurate forecast and warning system with regard to meteorological changes.

Ten years had gone into the development of weather radar and in work on the associated network, and though the system was near completion, it still lacked sufficient points for observing ocean areas. The detection of typhoons heading directly toward Japan from 600 to 700 kilometers offshore therefore was the next step in achieving effective observation.

Thus, even considering the many difficulties anticipated, the value of this project of installing a high powered radar system on the summit of Mt. Fuji (elevation 3776 meters) was unquestionable.

Severe climatic conditions also presented many obstacles to the realization of this project, as its success depended on transporting approximately 500 tons of material to the summit of the mountain during the three summer months.

From the beginning of the work of installation, many difficulties were overcome through the efforts of everyone concerned and the use of newly developed methods. The project was completed on 1 October 1964 and the installation is still in operation.

Mt. Fuji is the highest mountain in Japan, and by installing a radar site on its summit, typhoons could be observed in any direction within a range of 800 kilometers.

- "Weather Radar on the Summit of Mt. Fuji," Toshiya KASHIMOTO, Hideo UEDA
Mitsubishi Denki: Engineer, January 1967, Pages 37-50


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