Wednesday, July 29, 2009

PROJECT ANTARIKSHA

Project Antariksha, a pioneering effort at networking Kerala through an array of satellite-based automatic weather stations, intends to bring out a weather and climate atlas of the State in the near future.It is a collaborative project among the Indian Space Research Organisation,(ISRO) the Kerala State Planning Board(KSBP) and the Centre for Monsoon Studies of the Cochin University for Science and Technology (Cusat).

Two years into implementation, the project has seen 58 automatic weather stations being set up over Kerala and two on the Lakshadweep Islands.

Project Antariksha seeks to reach real-time data, including rainfall, on a Web-based system to reach the user groups. Advisories on precipitation and temperature anomalies are being issued to the State Government.Farm advisories on irrigation, pest infestation and yield prediction for major crops would be provided to specific user groups through KSPB. Local weather advisories are being sent through the Village Resource Centres.

Proper knowledge about the nature of rainfall, humidity, wind speed/direction and solar radiation will help them arrive at preventive measures as well as initiate judicious plans for raising production and controlling pest incidence and diseases with minimum costs.The data From the AWSs is - expected to help people extrapolate the extreme weather conditions to the larger global warming and climate change scenarios. However the real success of the ambitious project depends on how the user groups, i.e, mostly local rural bodies can use the available data by making them publicly available and educate them on how to take effective preventive measures.

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