Giving more details, Ministry of Earth Sciences Secretary M Ravichandran told PTI that “we are now exploring the possibility of using drones to collect this atmospheric data, which is very important for forecasting the weather.” ” Several studies have shown that specialized drones equipped with sensors to collect weather data can be a good alternative to the usual weather balloons. The India Metrological Department (IMD) collects weather data from 550 locations in India through weather stations and uses radiosonde observations which are fed into forecasting models to issue weather forecasts.
One of the biggest advantages of drones over weather balloons is that they can be controlled. It is designed to fly low and at high altitude. IMD plans to use drones to collect data up to a height of 5 km and compare it with the data collected using the old weather balloons. They have invited industry and academia to join them in showcasing the potential of drone technology for weather observation. Weather balloons typically last for two hours to fly, with the IMD using the drone to collect data during the 40-minute flight.