Prof. K.  Mohankumar


Exploration Of Atmosphere Using Stratosphere Troposphere Wind Profiler Radar

The highly sophisticated Stratosphere Troposphere (ST) wind profiler radar installed at Cochin University of Science and Technology (CUSAT) for the continuous monitoring of the Earth’s atmosphere from near surface to 20 km altitude will be presented. The state-of-art ST Radar at Cochin is operating at 205 MHz (1.5 m) Frequency band is fully designed, developed and manufactured in India, which measures, zonal, meridional and vertical winds at very high resolution in both time and vertical levels continuously in all weather conditions. The wind profiler radar operates in this frequency band is the first radar in the world.  Advantage of this frequency band is that cosmic effect is minima and gets highly reliable wind measurement in the entire tropospheric and lower stratospheric heights.

The Wind profiler radars are emerging as powerful tools for Atmospheric Research in recent years around the world. They have immense applications in studies in Meteorology, Cloud Physics, Thunderstorms, Convections, Atmospheric Electricity, Climate Change, Environmental Physics, Civil aviation, communications, etc. Continuous information available from ST Radar is highly useful to the aviation purposes, prediction of thunderstorms, fog, convective clouds, and heavy rainfall events. 

The highly accurate wind observations from ST Wind profiler radar can be utilised for the validation of the satellite derived wind observations. European Space Agency  (ESA) is launching a New satellite AEOLUS  in 2016 to measure global winds (0 to 30 km altitude) from space using lidar, and are interested in finding ST Radar wind profiles from Cochin. In addition, the wind profiler radar will support the air craft observations of aerosols in the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere and its effect on climate change through the Indo-French Joint Research Programme under the European Community StratoClim Program.

The tropical stratosphere plays a major role in the intraseasonal and interannual variability of the tropospheric circulations, especially over the Asian summer monsoon.  The tropospheric circulation may also be linked to the stratosphere on longer timescales. It has been found that stratospheric forcings in relationship with ozone depletion, volcanic aerosols, or the quasi-biennial oscillation exhibit a signature in surface climate. Such a coupling may be important for more realistic simulations of anthropogenic climate change in relationship with secular changes of greenhouse gases.