India’s First Thunderstorm Research Testbed


  • The India Meteorological Department (IMD) is all set to establish the country’s first thunderstorm research testbed at IMD’s observation centre in Balasore, Odisha.
  • Expected to be fully operational in next five years, the facility will aim to reduce fatalities and loss of property due to lightning strikes in Odisha and the eastern states. Between 2011 and February 2020, about 3,218 people lost their lives in the State in lightning strikes.
  • DRDO Chandipur, ISRO Balasore and Bhubaneswar met office will jointly implement the project. The IMD, Ministry of Earth Sciences, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) are jointly working on the project.
  • The research unit will be equipped with augmented observational systems like radar, wind profiler, microwave radiometer and automatic weather stations to study Nor’wester thunderstorms in Odisha, West Bengal, Jharkhand and Bihar.
  • Advanced observational systems will also be installed in north Odisha, West Bengal and Jharkhand.
  • Top academic institutes like IIT Bhubaneswar, IIT Kharagpur, Fakir Mohan University, NIT Rourkela, Maharaja Sriram Chandra Bhanja Deo University at Baripada, University of Calcutta and Birla Institute of Technology, Ranchi will be involved to conduct research on the data which will be shared to them by the testbed.