January 29, 2017 11:42:36 am
Next generation satellite INSAT-3DR has opened new frontiers in India’s weather forecasting and is set to equip the country with the ability to detect farm fires, which intensifies air pollution in the northern region seasonally, leaving Delhi gasping for breath. A team of the Satellite Meteorology Division of India Meteorological Department (IMD), housed in New Delhi’s Mausam Bhawan, has amassed a huge tranche of data relayed by it over the past few months, at an average rate of a whopping 142 GB per day.
Launched in September last year, INSAT-3DR works in tandem with INSAT-3D, operational since 2014, in sending raw data and high-resolution images, zoomed up to 1 kilometre near the earth’s surface, every 15 minutes.
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Dr Sunil Peshin, who heads the division, told PTI that while storing and archiving data was itself a challenge, the IMD shares information relayed by these satellites with international agencies like the US-based National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
Peshin said with the operationalising of INSAT-3DR, night time monitoring of atmospheric phenomenon like cloud cover, fog, haze and snow among others has become possible.
“Within the next few months we hope to equip ourselves with the ability to detect farm fires as well which the NASA does currently. It is just a matter of developing the right tools and algorithm which will take a little time,” he said.
This assumes importance against the backdrop of the Delhi government blaming seasonal agro-residue burning in the fields of Haryana and Punjab and the subsequent emission of smoke for the city’s foul air, especially during October, November.
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