CHENNAI: Indian Meteorological Department inaugurated the restored operations of S-Band Doppler Weather Radar (DWR) at Chennai Port Trust on Saturday. The radar will function round the clock in Chennai to predict weather conditions. Experts said that the prediction through radar reduced the number of deaths in the State during natural calamities. Tamil Nadu has more radar across the country.
This is the first DWR installed in India 20 years ago in 2002. After continuous operation of the radar for such a long time, due to the wear and tear of mechanical parts, a technical snag arose in the antenna bull gear unit recently.
"Efforts were taken to replace the spare parts, but could not be realised as custom made parts are not readily available, as it was customised from foreign countries. But, with the help of engineering companies in the state, the technology used in the concerned spare part has changed with time. Due to the COVID situation, the issue could not be resolved early," said VK Anandhan, Senior Research Scientist at ISRO.
With the efforts of the Ministry of Earth Sciences and IMD, and with technical support from ISRO, a new bull gear unit is now designed and fabricated in India. The old damaged bull gear unit is now replaced. All necessary technical tests and calibration procedures are over. The Radar operation is now restored and brought back foroperational usage with full functionality.
Dr M.Mohapatra, Director General of Meteorology, IMD stated, "The weather forecast has decreased in natural calamity fatalities across the country. With the help of radar, the meteorological department is able to predict the low pressure area formation in the sea, the warning has been issued for the general public, fishermen, farmers, etc. The weather forecast has improved over the years in Tamil Nadu."
For instance, in 1966 a cyclone was formed in Thoothukudi where hundreds of people died. Whereas in 2016, during the Vardhah cyclone it has decreased to 11 deaths. With the help of a monitoring tool, the department issues forecast from 2 hours to 7 days.
He added that IMDs priority is on Tamil Nadu, because the state has more radars in India, which predicts Tamil Nadu and Puducherry weather conditions. Whereas in neighbouring Karnataka there is no radar.