Airborne Platforms


It may be mentioned that except Indian Ocean basins, the aircraft reconnaissance flights have been successfully operated in major cyclone basins of Atlantic, Pacific and Australian region. An actual flight by an aircraft into and around the cyclonic storm during various stages of its development and movement provides invaluable data for studying and understanding the structure and movement of a storm, thus improving the accuracy of track prediction to a great extent. Studies taken up in USA, Japan and Australia have shown that inputs generated by aircraft improve track prediction errors by as much as 30%. A number of experiments in recent years have established that weather predictions can significantly be improved by adoptive sounding – choosing the best time and place based on the atmospheric state to generate most accurate and direct observations from the cyclone environment using efficient aircraft probing technologies.

The positive results in Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM)’s past cloud seeding experiments have been taken as the basis for carrying out the operational programmes. There are many factors which limit the use of these results in the present scenario. During the past 30 years, after the IITM’s experiments, there are large changes in the atmospheric constituents due to anthropogenic activities and increase in pollution (aerosols) levels.

In this situation there is a strong and urgent need for a definitive and authoritative conclusion to be drawn primarily for the scientific reasons to understand different pathways and secondarily to provide science based guidance to state governments and other social organizations who consider seeding as a solution to mitigate the drought conditions. IITM undertook a national multi year experiment “CAIPEEX” to address above referred issues by hiring an aircraft for such studies.

A need for long term measurements in respect of Aerosol sampling, measurement of cloud properties, cloud physics, CTCZ, atmospheric chemistry etc. is strongly felt by the research community in this country to address all relevant scientific issues for improving the treatment of rain making processes in the monsoon environment in particular and other cloud-aerosol-radiative feedback mechanisms associated with the climate variability and change over India in times to come.

a) Objectives:

  1. Establishment of APC facilities of the cyclone core environment to address critical data gap for cyclone predictions
  2. Planning observational campaign for the advancement of R&D efforts in cyclone forewarning (up to 200-250 days per year, including such cyclonic disturbances formed during the monsoon season, pre-monsoon thunderstorm events in eastern India – Kalbaisakhi in addition to Cyclone Seasons (May; Oct-Nov) – and the collect dropsonde observations for studying of other high impact weather phenomena over land)
  3. Airborne Doppler Weather Radar for identification of heavy rainfall and strong wind zones (cyclone/flood/heavy rainfall impact assessment)
  4. The APC Facility can also be used for the study of monsoon systems in South Asian countries, the Effects of Climate Change Research and for Defence Applications as well.
  5. To provide crucial data on Atmospheric Chemistry, aerosol and Cloud microphysics required for understanding aerosol-cloud interaction and parameterization of tropical clouds

b) Participating Institutions:

  1. Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, Pune;
  2. India Meteorological Department, New Delhi

c) Implementation Plan:

National Committees are constituted for the finalization of the DPRs for the establishment of the Airborne Research Facilities for India

d) Deliverables:

  1. Establishment of National Research Airborne Platform for Aerosol sampling, measurement of cloud properties, cloud physics, CTCZ, atmospheric chemistry etc.
  2. Establishment of Aircraft Probing of Cyclone Facility to generate critical observations from the cyclone core environment

e) Budget requirement : 700 crores

Rs. in crores

Budget Requirement
Name of the Scheme 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17 Total
Airborne Platforms 70 200 250 80 100 700


Last Updated On 04/09/2015 - 14:21
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