Kochi will soon be on the monsoon-monitoring map of the world when a Stratosphere Troposphere (ST) radar will be set up by the Ministry of Science and Technology on the Cochin University (CUSAT) campus in Kalamassery. Its believed that the installment of the Rs 20-crore doppler radar will set the course for new findings on climate change and monsoon variability in the country.
The most exiting about the radar is that the radar will be the second of its kind in the country and the seventh of such in the world and we keralites especially Cochin guys are very fortunate to have it here. A project implementation committee of the Ministry will oversee the development of the subsystem, including integration, installation, validation and other activities of the project. The radar will be made by the Hyderabad-based Electronic Corporation of India.
The project head Prof K Mohan Kumar, Department of Atmospheric Sciences, says :”Kochi’s location is geographically unique and there is no such radar in the tropical belt, which could give useful data for the entire Asian region. As far as the monsoons are concerned, we can study the intensity, velocity and orientation of the jetstream and also about cloud formations and vertical wind activity up to 2530 kilometers.”
According to Mr. Mohan Kumar, when the Southwest monsoon hits Kerala, it rains the most in Anamudi in the Western Ghats and Kochi is located in the same altitude. Hence, it would be much easier to study the tropical activity in the region. Mohan Kumar also highlighted that the radar could help in studying climate change as the stratosphere is an ozone-enriched region. Moreover, the radar would be helpful to the Indian Navy and the Cochin International Airport as information on wind-speeds would be helpful to aircrafts.
The Science and Technology Ministry has mandated Cusat to study the characteristics of the tropical easterly jet-stream and its linkage to the monsoon activity, stratosphere-troposphere exchange processes, summer monsoon and its dynamics, monsoon variability, and so on. Lets hope for many valuable contributions from and for this project !!