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ISRO to set up 1,000 weather stations across the country

Staff Reporter

National MST Radar Facility upgraded into National Atmospheric Research Laboratory


  • ISRO chief promises to back frontline research in atmospheric sciences
  • Additional manpower and state-of-the art equipment for NARL promised
  • NARL working on other major scientific programmes



    DEDICATING TO THE NATION: ISRO Chairman, G. Madhavan Nair (second from right) is taking a look at the Automatic Weather Station after inaugurating it at the National Atmospheric Research Laboratory at Gadanki near Tirupati on Thursday.

    GADANKI: The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has set for itself an ambitious target of setting up 1,000 Automatic Weather Stations (AWS) all over the country in a year for better weather forecasting. The first such facility was inaugurated on Thursday by ISRO Chairman G. Madhavan Nair, at NMRF premises in Gadanki near Tirupati.

    Dr. Nair formally declared the upgradation of National MST Radar Facility (NMRF) as National Atmospheric Research Laboratory (NARL) and assured to strengthen it further with the installation of more experimental observational systems.

    All support assured

    Addressing the gathering of scientists, Dr. Nair said that the NMRF, which had evolved of age, would be sanctioned additional manpower and state-of-the-art systems to help the centre provide valuable information for improved weather forecasting and for the assimilation of the obtained data into different atmospheric models. The ISRO had developed the first AWS here and transferred the technology to the Hyderabad-based Astra Microwave Products Limited. He also promised to provide all support required for carrying out frontline research in the emerging areas of atmospheric sciences.

    More in the pipeline

    Explaining the need for upgradation, the NARL director, D. Narayana Rao, said that the Centre had several major scientific programmes on the anvil, besides being vested with diversified responsibilities. Elaborating on its relevance, he said that while the conventional weather forecasters had been exploring the sky up to 12 kms, rockets and partial reflection radars were being used for monitoring beyond 50 km and it was to bridge the gap between these two areas, the coherent radars were pressed into service. The facility would cater to the experimental aspirations of scientists by providing free access to high power radar, he added.

    Select gathering

    Former chief of ISRO, U.R. Rao, was the guest of honour, while V.K. Anandan, senior engineer, NMRF, proposed a vote of thanks. ISRO scientific secretary V. Sundararamaiah, joint secretary R.G. Nadadur, the director of Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, Trivandrum, B.N.Suresh and the director of SDSC-SHAR, Annamalai, were among those present.

    Dr. Nair also inaugurated the Coherent Radar Imaging Project.

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