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IMD plans pilot project for using drones for weather observations

India Meteorological Department (IMD) is looking at conducting a pilot project in 2023 for using drones for weather observations across India.

IMD plans pilot project for using drones for weather observations

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  17 Jan 2022 3:39 AM GMT

NEW DELHI: India Meteorological Department (IMD) is looking at conducting a pilot project in 2023 for using drones for weather observations across India.

Ever since the Ministry of Civil Aviation notified the liberalized Drone Rules, 2021, in August last year, there have been talks of the immense potential that using drones will have for multiple applications. Although this included talks about observational forecasting by the IMD, it was the Minister for State for Earth Sciences, Jitendra Singh, while speaking at the 147th Foundation Day event of the IMD on Friday, who brought the issue to the forefront. He had said that his Ministry will deploy and use drone-based observation technology in a big way for strengthening the localised forecasting, besides adopting the high-resolution models.

IMD Director General, Mrutyunjay Mahapatra said: "It is still at a very initial state. We are looking at a pilot study in about a year."

The IMD releases 63 balloons everyday uniformly distributed across India. Those reach up to an altitude of four to five km but the equipment that goes with it is lost. "Instead, with drones that can go up to six km vertically, our equipment can be reused," Mohapatra said.

Experts welcomed it as a positive development but were also wary of its limitations in terms of endurance and payload but most of them were welcoming of the development as something for which the time is right. (IANS)

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