Special ground station in Mehboobnagar, Andhra Pradesh, to aid research this year
The third year of the ambitious, 50-crore, five-year,
cloud seeding project of the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM) covering
the states of Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka will begin in mid-August
from Begumpet airport in Hyderabad.
What distinguishes the project, which is part of the Caipeex (cloud aerosol interaction
and precipitation enhancement experiment) of the IITM this year is the strong emphasis
on research. This assumes significance considering that in earlier operational cloud
seeding exercises undertaken by the state governments of Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh
and Karnataka in 2003-04, they were unable to quantify the impact of the cloud seeding.
In a bid to aid the Caipeex team to research the project efficiently, a well equipped
ground station has been set up in Mehboobnagar, near Hyderabad. Caipeex Programme
Manager J. R. Kulkarni said the facility will have a Doppler radar, a 20-metre-tower
to measure wind, humidity and temperature, a radiometer to monitor the profile of
temperature and winds every minute and equipment to measure cloud condensation nuclei,
aerosol and radiation.
Kulkarni told on Wednesday, "The emphasis this year will be on testing the performance
and efficacy of the cloud seeding project. We will, therefore, seed some clouds
and not seed a few to monitor the difference. We are keen to understand the complexity
As was the case in the last two years, two special, cloud seeding aircraft with
pilots from South Africa will be reaching India well before the kick off date.
Typically, the seeder aircraft will spray sodium chloride (salt) of 1-3 microns
at the base of the clouds to form droplets. The impact of the cloud seeding will
then be studied by the research aircraft.
There would also be continuous monitoring of cloud and wind movement by the radar
The project would cover the rain shadow regions of the three states and will include
Madhya Maharashtra and Marathwada in Maharashtra, Rayalseema and Telangana in Andhra
and North Karnataka.
Courtesy: DNA India