Bengaluru, Feb 3: Scientists at the Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay (IIT-B) have developed a satellite-based fog monitoring system with the ultimate goal of integrating the fog information to air, rail and vehicular transportation magement to ensure safe travel. “The Indo-Gangetic Plains covering northern India, Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh is subjected to dense haze/fog during winter months severely impacting on air, rail and vehicular traffic,” Ritesh Gautam, assistant professor at the IIT’s Centres for Resources Engineering and Climate Studies, told IANS in an email. “We have developed this system for monitoring and dissemition of fog information to government agencies and also to the general public.”
Formerly a research scientist at the Climate and Radiation Laboratory of SA’s Goddard Space Flight Centre in the US, Gautam said the fog monitoring system was developed with the help of his students Reema Chourey, Dinesh Patil, Sarwar Rizvi and Manoj Singh. According to Gautam, the system uses in-house developed software to automatically process data from the SA satellites (Terra and Aqua MODIS) and produces daily maps of fog and low cloud regions for the Indo-Gangetic Plains at a moderately high resolution.
He said his team was presently testing retrievals and processing of fog-related parameters from geostatiory satellites, such as India’s own INSAT satellites, “for near-real time continuous monitoring of fog, water vapor and aerosols over south Asia”. “This satellite monitoring system is quite complex but I am glad that we have developed the capability and are moving forward,” Gautam said. “It can also be used to monitor dust storms, biomass burning events, cyclones and monsoon clouds.” In addition to datasets obtained from both polar orbiting and geostatiory satellites, the IIT team is also working on integrating surface-based meteorological and pollution related measurements, he said. (IANS)