Next generation satellites for weather forecast: ISRO chief
Reasonable monsoon prediction, a real challenge now "The ISRO has been focussing on the development of space technology for the development of the rural populace''
KANNUR: Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chairman G. Madhavan Nair has said that the organisation is planning next generation satellites that are more effective in providing data required for making more accurate weather forecasts.
Delivering the Prof. P.R. Pisharoty Memorial Lecture at the Kerala State Science Congress here on Monday, Dr. Nair said the Insat-3D and the Megha-Tropiques, being developed in collaboration with the French, would increase the country's ability to provide accurate information on weather. Experiments based on global positioning satellite system (GPS) for meteorology and space sciences would also provide accurate information on water vapour, cloud cover, outgoing long wave, radiation, soil moisture and sea ice coverage, he said.
Dr. Nair said that a reasonable prediction of monsoon was a real challenge as the country's agriculture was dependent on rainfall.
Development of a reliable weather prediction system called for a systematic study of advanced technological know-how for making quality measurements and strengthening scientific expert groups in the field, he said. There was no dearth of observation systems in the country.
"The ISRO has been focussing on the development of space technology for the development of the rural populace'', the ISRO Chairman said.
Stating that the Space Capsule Recovery Experiment (SRE-1) of ISRO was a major success, Dr. Nair said that ISRO had also started remote sensing for natural resource planning, watershed related studies, disaster management and water mission.
Earth observing satellites such as Insat-3A, Kalpana-1 and the forthcoming Oceansat-2 were also very powerful tools for weather forecast.
Stressing the importance of ground-based network for observing weather phenomena, he said that automatic weather stations (AWS) should be installed in schools as they would kindle enthusiasm among students on the study of weather.
The country could be networked through the AWS, radars, meteorological towers, remote sensing satellites and rain measuring instruments, he said.
The executive vice-president of the Kerala State Council for Science, Technology and Environment, A.E. Muthunayagam, presided over the function. Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre Visiting Professor R.A.D. Pillai was present.