Union Minister Dr. Jitendra Singh says IMD is exploring the possibilities to deploy drones to gather atmospheric data from various locations

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Union Minister Dr. Jitendra Singh says IMD is exploring the possibilities to deploy drones to gather atmospheric data from various locations, in place of weather balloons

The government is setting up a Thunderstorm Testbed site over East India for an in-depth study of thunderstorms over the region: Dr. Jitendra Singh

By PIB Delhi

Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Science & Technology; Minister of State (Independent Charge) Earth Sciences; MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr. Jitendra Singh today said, India Meteorological Department (IMD) is exploring the possibilities to deploy drones to gather atmospheric data from various locations, in place of weather balloons.

In a written reply in the Lok Sabha, Dr. Jitendra Singh informed that an inter-departmental committee has been constituted by IMD to conduct studies in this regard. In order to explore the technical feasibility of upper air boundary level data sensing, an invitation to industry and academia to demonstrate experimental drone-based radio-sounding on a No Cost No Commitment (NCNC) basis has been released by the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) and it is available on MoES and IMD websites. The last date for the submission of the proposal was the 16th of July, 2022.

The Minister also informed that the Ministry of Earth Sciences is setting up a Thunderstorm Testbed site over East India for in-depth study of thunderstorms over the region. As a part of this project, the Ministry proposes to purchase two drones for monitoring weather parameters of the atmospheric boundary layer prior to the occurrence of thunderstorms and also for post-event monitoring of damages.

Currently, radio sounding is the method in practice to measure the vertical profile of physical properties of the upper air atmosphere, and this is done by launching a transmitter interfaced with sensors aloft in a weather balloon. Although weather balloons are widespread in use for a long, it poses a limitation to the successful recovery of the sensor and also limits the use of more sophisticated and widespread sensors due to underlying implicit cost involved. With the advent and sophistication of unmanned aerial systems commonly known as drones, IMD is exploring the possibility of replacing balloons with drones in gathering upper air observations. This new technology is expected for the atmosphere,like the sensors recoverable and reusable, thus likely to benefit IMD.

Upper air observations are a part of the initial conditions for the weather forecast models. This new technology, if found technically feasible through contemplated experimentation, is expected to benefit IMD in the field of weather forecasting by providing high-resolution upper air data from unexplored and remote areas, along with the data from existing observatory networks.  

About Post Author

Suman Munshi

Founder Editor of IBG NEWS (15/Mar/2012- 09/Aug/2018). Recipient of Udar Akash Rokeya Shakhawat Hossain Award 2018. National Geographic & Canon Wild Clicks 2011 jury and public poll winner. Studied Post Graduate Advance Dip in Computer Sc., MBA IT,LIMS (USA & Australia), GxP(USA & UK),BA (Sociology) Dip in Journalism (Ireland), Diploma in Vedic Astrology, Numerology, Palmistry, Vastu Shastra & Feng Sui 25 years in the digital & IT industry with Global MNCs' worked & traveled in USA, UK, Europe, Singapore, Australia, Bangladesh & many other countries. Education and Training advance management and R&D Technology from India, USA, UK, Australia. Over 30 Certification from Global leaders in R&D and Education. Computer Science Teacher, IT & LIMS expert with a wide fan following in his community. General Secretary West Bengal State Committee of All Indian Reporter’s Association
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