Atmospheric Research Testbed (ART)

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Source-This post on Atmospheric Research Testbed (ART) is based on the article “Govt: Lab to monitor sea water quality and testbed to track monsoon systems inaugurated” published in “The Indian Express” on 13th March 2024.

Why in the News?

Recently, the Minister of Earth Sciences inaugurated the first phase of the Atmospheric Research Testbed in Central India (ART-CI) in the Sehore district of Madhya Pradesh.

What is Atmospheric Research Testbed (ART)?

Atmospheric Research Testbed
Source- IITM Pune

About– The Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), under the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES), has established it at Silkheda, in Sehore district to enhance our understanding of the processes governing monsoon convection.

Purpose- ART-CI will use a wide range of remote-sensing and in-situ instruments to continuously observe convection, clouds, precipitation, soil moisture, radiation, and microphysics, capturing significant variability modes.

Phases of ART setup

1. In the first phase, an Atmospheric Research Testbed (ART) will be established in central India to investigate convection, interactions between land and atmosphere, and precipitation.

2. In the second phase, another ART will be established in the northeast or eastern regions of the country to focus on studying severe thunderstorm processes.

Instruments and facilities

1. It has nearly 25 advanced instruments, including the aethalometer for aerosol studies, cloud condensation nuclei counter, laser ceilometer for cloud size measurement, and micro rain radar for raindrop size calculation, that have been installed.

2. Additionally, a Ka-band cloud radar and a C-band Doppler weather radar will aid in tracking the movement of rain-bearing systems in the area.

Why was Silkheda in Sehore district chosen for its establishment?

1. India receives about 70% of its annual rainfall during the June to September southwest monsoon season.

2. The rainfall is sustained by the interaction between southwest monsoon winds and westward-moving low-pressure systems or depressions.

3. Agriculture in the central Indian regions, spanning from Gujarat to West Bengal, relies heavily on this rain.

4. Silkheda in Sehore is strategically located in the path of rain-bearing systems, making it perfect for studying their characteristics and cloud properties.

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