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Parliament monsoon session: Earth Sciences ministry may buy instrumented research aircraft for Rs 250 crore

19 Sept 2020

The aircraft equipped with a suite of scientific instrumentation will help in studying different atmospheric parameters from the sky, including loud physics, aerosol and air chemistry

The ministry of earth sciences in considering procurement of an instrumented research aircraft at the cost of Rs 250 crore to study atmospheric processes, according to a Lok Sabha question answered by the union science minister Dr Harsh Vardhan.


The aircraft will be a part of the National Facility for Airborne Research that the ministry will set up. The aircraft, equipped with a suite of scientific instrumentation, will help in studying different atmospheric parameters from the sky, including loud physics, aerosol and air chemistry, which will strengthen the current weather and climate models.


“(This) might be useful to validate cloud schemes for improving the model physics of monsoon or tropical clouds. It will be useful for addressing air pollution assessment and associated impacts over India (health, visibility, climate),” the answer said.


The India Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM) in Pune, an autonomous institute under the ministry of earth sciences, will function as the nodal body for the collection and dissemination of the information.

The setting up of National Facility for Airborne Research had been approved by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs in 2018 with a financial commitment of R 130 crore during 2020-21. The facility will come under the umbrella scheme ‘Atmosphere and Climate Research-Modelling Observing System and Services (ACROSS). ACROSS encompasses the atmospheric science programmes of the earth science ministry addressing various aspects of weather and climate services, including warnings for cyclone, storm surges, heat waves, thunderstorm.



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