India to acquire plane to study monsoon

India is to soon have an air-borne laboratory to study the interactions between clouds and “aerosols” – tiny suspended particles in the atmosphere – as part of an exercise to better understand the phenomenon of monsoon. Union Minister for Earth Sciences Vilasrao Deshmukh, announced this here on Wednesday.

Speaking at the foundation day of his Ministry, he said, “we will soon commission an air-borne research platform”.

According to senior Ministry officials, it would be a small aircraft that would carry several instruments on-board to study the interactions between clouds and aerosols as well as cloud physics and greenhouse gases. Presently, the Ministry hires aircraft for conducting such experiments.

, Earth Sciences Secretary, Shailesh Nayak said the project was expected to be commissioned in three years. It's stimated cost is Rs. 200 crore.

The aerial laboratory would be designed in such a way that it could be used for six to eight hours in a day for at least 300 days every year. Among other things, it would be equipped for undertaking studies on cyclones and for determining their tracks.

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