CUSAT fostering radar technology

Collaboration planned with Swedish Institute of Physics

CUSAT Radar. Photograph by Varun Varier (@varunvarier) on Instagram.
CUSAT Radar. Photograph by Varun Varier (@varunvarier) on Instagram.

The Advanced Centre for Atmospheric Radar Research at CUSAT has been dedicated to the nation by Union Minister Harsh Vardhan on July 11.

The Advanced Centre for Atmospheric Radar Research at the Cochin University of Science and Technology (CUSAT), which operates the estimated ₹25-crore Advanced Centre for Atmospheric Radar Research (ACARR), is going global.

In a major scientific collaboration, ACARR will join hands with the Swedish Institute of Physics, which operates the Moveable Atmospheric Radar for Antarctica (MARA ), a 54 MHz wind-profiler radar. The facility is used during summer expeditions in Antarctica.

“Our radar is unique as it has around 619 elements that can be used for major research projects. We have plans to use both the radars to study measurements pertaining to atmospheric variations and to conduct research on the profiles of horizontal and vertical winds in both the regions. The main scientific objective is to study the coupling process between high and low latitude regions,” said ACARR Director K. Mohankumar.

The centre is planning a joint initiative with the University of Kyoto in Japan, which currently operates a middle atmospheric wind profiler radar. The objective of the collaboration is to conduct studies on tropical dynamics.

Dr. Mohankumar pointed out that ACARR would provide wind profiler data for the validation of the European Space Agency’s Aeolus satellite, which is expected to be launched in another two years.

Researchers said the radar would play a key role in disaster management in the State. The facility will aid in the timely prediction of severe meteorological events. The State disaster management cell can use the information to augment their efforts during emergencies. Cusat’s radar will provide regional weather forecasts of severe meteorological events like thunderstorms. It will also give inputs for predicting natural disasters of meteorological origin from any other source.

Meanwhile, work is in progress at the centre on understanding the dynamics of the southwest monsoon this year. Research is also on to utilise the wind profiler observations taken from the radar to enunciate an appropriate matrix for the prediction of the onset of the Indian summer monsoon. The data from the facility are also being used to understand the evolution of tropical thunderstorms that occurred in May this year.

News : The Hindu | G. Krishnakumar

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