The Doppler Weather Radar (DWR) at Colaba will once again be functional this week, said officials from the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD). A technical snag left the radar non-operational since July 13.
“A team from Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL), Bangalore, is in the city to fix the radar on-site, and the radar should be functional in 3-4 days,” said S G Kamble, director of DWR, IMD Mumbai.
“The radar works 24X7, it is likely to have a few repairs periodically and is not something that will affect the forecasting.” According to an official, there is a problem with a ‘servo unit’, which is essential for the rotation of the antennas. The part is in the process of being replaced, the official added.
Officials assure that this technical problem has no bearing on the forecast. “The radar is just one of the aids used for forecasting. At present, we are relying on satellite imagery, weather models and upper air measurement to provide the forecast. There is no problem with forecasting,” said V K Rajeev, IMD Mumbai director.
In April last year as well, the radar had been hit with a technical snag for over a month.
The radar, developed by BHEL and installed at Colaba in July 2010, uses the doppler effect in microwaves reflected off objects at different times based on their relative position to the radar, to “hear” physical changes.
At the time of its installation, IMD officials had said the Rs 15 crore machine was a state-of-the-art technology at par with systems used in developed countries. It has the ability to transmit detailed information about a cloud, including an insight into the intensity and force of rainfall.
The radar was installed as per the IMD’s modernisation plans to replace old S-Band cyclone detection radars with the S-Band Doppler Weather Radar at 12 locations across the country including Mumbai and Nagpur. The machine is located in Navy Nagar, Colaba, with an unobstructed view in a 5-km radius.