Combining direct reception of satellite data, supercomputing and computer networking, we developed a system to distribute satellite products to users in real-time. Geostationary meteorological satellite (GMS) data is received every hour, and high-spatial resolution images of incident solar radiation are produced. The hourly solar radiation is obtained for 0.01° grids, which meets requirements of the agricultural applications in the northern Japan. The estimated daily values are validated by ground measurements, which show a root-mean square (rms) error of about 8-14%. Several products of solar radiation are produced immediately after the hourly GMS data reception and are then transferred to the web server for on-line access from the users. Consequently, the satellite products can be obtained through the World Wide Web within 5 min after the data reception, which can be classified as real-time distribution. The system has been continuously operated since June 1997, and it has proved that the real-time monitoring of the earth surface using satellite products may be possible using systems integrating advanced technologies.
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