Why in News?
On June 22, 2021, the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) announced that it will install seven new Doppler radars in Maharashtra, including Mumbai in 2021.
Four X-band and one C-band radar will be deployed over Mumbai. In addition, Ratnagiri get a new C-band and Vengurla will get an X-band radar.
What are Radars?
- Radar (Radio Detection and Ranging) is a device which uses electromagnetic waves in the microwave region to detect location (range and direction), attitude, intensity and movement of moving and non-moving objects.
- Doppler radar is a specialized radar that uses the Doppler Effect to produce velocity data about objects at a distance.
- In January 2021, the Union Minister for Earth Sciences commissioned two of the ten indigenously built X-Band Doppler Weather Radars (DWR) to closely monitor the weather changes over the Himalayas.
Uses of Doppler Radar
- Doppler radars of varying frequencies –S band, C-band and X-band are commonly used by the IMD to detect and track the movement of weather systems, cloud bands and gauge rainfall over its coverage area of about 500 km.
- Specifically, X-band radar is used to detect thunderstorms and lightning. C-band guides at the time of cyclone tracking and S-band are often used for seeing through heavy weather or precipitation, air traffic control, surface ship radar and communication satellites.
- Existing radars are deployed at following places :
- East Coast: Kolkata, Paradip, Gopalpur, Visakhapatnam, Machilipatanam, Sriharikota, Karaikal and Chennai.
- West Coast: Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi, Goa and Mumbai.
- Other Places: Srinagar, Patiala, Kufri, Delhi, Mukteshhvar, Jaipur, Agartala, Sohra, Bhopal, Bhuj, Lucknow, Patna, Mohanbar, Agartala, Hyderabad and Nagpur.
Advantages of Doppler Weather Radars
- Doppler radars for weather forecasting will improve precision in long-range forecasting and surveillance by using a parabolic dish antenna and a foam sandwich spherical radome.
- It has the equipment to measure rainfall intensity, wind shear and velocity, locate a storm centre and the direction of a tornado or gust front.
Significance of Doppler Radars
- These radars will guide meteorologists, especially in times of extreme weather events like cyclones along with heavy rainfall.
- The observations will be updated every 10 minutes, forecasters will be able to follow the development of weather system, predict unfavourable events and their impact.
- The deployment of doppler radars by the IMD are welcome efforts and should be upgraded and modernized at rapid pace.
- Unfavourable weather events causes hundreds and sometimes even thousands of casualties annually in India. Weather excesses also affects the economy and therefore, the use of technology in the form of weather forecasting devices are critical for the safety and security of India.