The Indian meterological department is modernising its observational network by replacing its old and conventional radar by state-of-the-art S-band Doppler Weather Radar in a phased manner at different locations all over the country, Union Minister Harsh Vardhan said today.
The minister for science and technology and earth sciences was speaking after inaugurating the S-band Doppler Weather Radar (DWR) here.
"By now we have 27 weather radars in the country at various places. But the radars installed in Cherrapunji, Bhuj in Gujarat, Mumbai, Thiruvananthapuram and now today in Kochi are totally indigenous. That is (a) great thing," he said.
"A series of such radars will be established at various parts of the country--11 by the Indian Air Force and 11 by IMD. This will be completed by 2019," he added.
The S-band DWR is used for forecasting storms and cyclones besides other severe weather conditions.
It was manufactured by Bharat Electronics Limited, Bengaluru, based on the technology provided by ISRO.
Officials said this radar development has been initiated by ISRO as a national effort to design and develop indigenous weather radars to meet the country's weather forecast requirements.
It was also developed with a vision to establish a network of weather radars to seamlessly cover the regions of interest and thereby ensuring effective weather forecasts, they said.
This radar will play a vital role for providing information on the rapid development of severe weather events around Kochi and its adjoining areas with a maximum radial range of 500 km, a release said.
The major advantages of DWR include wind speed measurements during cyclones and thunderstorms which is not possible in conventional weather radar thus helping in providing improved warning and better weather forecasts.
According to the release, DWR can provide area specific rain and storm warnings which is beneficial for aviation and related services, disaster management and emergency response authorities.
In conjunction with data from other sensors such as satellites, better forecast and warnings can be achieved leading to minimal loss of property and life, thus providing better services towards public safety and social-economic benefits, it added.
ISRO Chairman and Secretary, Department of Space, A S Kiran Kumar was present.