CHENNAI: Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will be launching two new meteorological satellites in the second half of this year that will improve weather forecasting.
In an interview with The New Indian Express, ISRO chairman AS Kiran Kumar said the two new meteorological satellites will aid authorities and researchers make important decisions and draw conclusions with greater accuracy.
Kumar said that meteorological satellite INSAT-3DR, one of the satellites that will be launched will provide information on ocean vector winds that will help in climate research.
“INSAT-3DR is similar to INSAT-3D. We are also working on placing a scatterometer in the space for measuring ocean vector winds,” Kumar said.
ISRO has six operational satellites that deliver an array of information.
INSAT-3D is an advanced weather satellite of India configured with improved imaging systems and atmospheric sounder. It is designed for monitoring land and ocean surfaces, generating vertical profiles of the atmosphere in terms of temperature and humidity for weather forecasting and disaster warning.
It is a first Indian geostationary satellite, equipped with sounder instrument that provides frequent good quality atmospheric profiles (temperature, humidity) over Indian landmass and adjoining areas.
Meanwhile, ISRO is also planning to open-up its Meteorological and Oceanographic Satellite Data Archival Centre (MOSDAC), which is a Space Applications Centre (SAC) located in Ahmedabad, for academic institutions involved in research and development activities in weather forecasting.
“MOSDAC has a wealth of information recorded from the year 2000 sourced from various Indian satellite missions like Megha-Tropiques, Saral, Kalpana-1, INSAT-3A and INSAT-3D along with other international weather satellites. This database can be of immense value to researchers. Usually, what we do is empirical analysis which requires large amount of data from 20 or 30 years. Now, ISRO is trying to make sure more and more researchers visit MOSDAC and allow them to access the archive data that will help them validate their research. We will also facilitate them with some computational systems,” Kiran Kumar said.
MOSDAC has completed a decade of meteorological and oceanographic satellite data services for the nation this year. While congratulating MOSDAC on the occasion, Kiran Kumar said the two new satellite launches this year will boost its database further.
To a query, ISRO chief acknowledged the fact that weather forecasting is a challenge in a tropical country like India. However, the space agency is trying to make the best use of the available technology to predict extreme weather events like heavy rainfall, cloud bursts and heatwaves.
Major highlights of MOSDAC services are - storehouse for space based weather and ocean data, near real time meteorological and oceanographic data dissemination and free data to scientific and academic community.