First Thunderstorm Research Testbed of India

India’s first thunderstorm research testbed will be established in Balasore, Odisha.

Objective of testbed

The Thunderstorm Research Testbed is being established with the objective to minimalize the human fatalities and loss of property because of the lightning strikes.

Highlights

  • This announcement was made by the Director-General of India Meteorological Department, Dr Mrutyunjay Mohapatra.
  • He also announced that a Monsoon Testbed will also be set up near Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh. The monsoon testbed would also be first-of-its-kind.
  • Both of these projects are in the planning stage.

Thunderstorm testbed

  • The Thunderstorm testbed will be established in a collaboration among the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), Ministry of Earth Sciences, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and India Meteorological Department (IMD).
  • All of these organisations have established their units in Balasore.
  • The observatories will be set up to cater to the adjoining areas.
  • The testbed would be conducting the studies on thunderstorms.
  • The testbed will comprise of several observational networks, radar, auto-station, a full-fledged observatory, a wind profiler and a microwave radiometer.

What is the need of testbed?

Many lives are lost in Bihar, Odisha, West Bengal, and Jharkhand because of lightning strikes during the months of April to June every year. On an average, more than 350 people are killed in Odisha because of lightning strikes. As per a report, in the span of nine years (till 2020), 3218 people have died due to lightning. Thus, there is a need to set up the testbed to predict the thunderstorm and save life.

India Meteorological Department (IMD)

IMD was established in the year 1875. It is an agency which is responsible for weather forecasting, meteorological observations, and seismology. The agency works under the Ministry of Earth Sciences. The headquarter of IMD is in Delhi.

Who is Dr Mrutyunjay Mohapatra?

He is currently serving as the Director-General of India Meteorological Department. He is often nick-named as ‘Cyclone Man of India’ because of his accurate prediction of cyclones in Indian subcontinent.

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