The DRDO has decided to extensively use UAVs(Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) and a special plane fitted with sensors to overcome the difficulty in accurately predicting the weather, especially avalanches, for the Armed Forces.
The DRDO’s Snow and Avalanche Study Establishment (SASE) is in the process of acquiring a specialised aircraft that can be used for weather related data collection. “It is not humanly possible to collect weather related data everywhere in the Himalayan region. Some places are completely inaccessible. Thus we are planning to buy a small aircraft that would be customised according to our requirements so that our avalanche and general weather forecast can improve,” an official said.
The DRDO is already in contact with various companies to zero-in on the aircraft as per its requirements. The aircraft is expected to be bought by the end of this year and put in use by early next year.
“Three different sensors for collecting various weather-related data would be installed on the plane for high quality data. These sensors will help us in understanding the topography of the Himalayan region with high precision,” the official said.
The three sensors include Photogrammetry, which is a special kind photography, to understand the contour of the land, Lidar - a laser based system - to measure elevation and hyper-spectral imagery, which is another latest technology used for understanding the mountain topography.
Besides the special aircraft, the SASE is also planning to extensively use UAVs in the region.
“We have been successfully using UAVs for the purpose of data collection and the results have been quite encouraging. We will now use them extensively across the Himalayan region to improve weather forecast,” the official explained.