IIT Delhi is setting up a first of its kind atmospheric observatory at its Sonepat Campus. The observatory, in the heart of the Indo-Gangetic belt will enable researchers to make new discoveries and help find sustainable solutions to some of the country’s pressing problems such as severe air pollution, erratic monsoon and extreme weather events associated with climate change.
The observatory will be equipped with state-of-the-art equipment such as radars, lidars, mass spectrometers, and a satellite ground station. By observing air pollutants, greenhouse gases, clouds, radiation and meteorology simultaneously, the facility will transform science-based action.”
Sonipat, which is located upwind of Delhi NCR, is an ideal location for measurements not only of the transport of dust and air pollution, but also various meteorological, radiation and cloud observations as these are key to understanding daily variations in weather, long term climate changes.
The observatory will be equipped with state-of-the-art equipment such as meteorological tower, wind profilers, radars for cloud and rain observations, greenhouse gases (GHG) monitors, and instruments for radiation and air pollution measurements such as aerosol chemical speciation monitor, particle sizer, spectrometers, particle counter and activity analyser etc.
Ground-based and satellite observations of greenhouse gases and other pollutants will help us understand how the pollutants are formed and transported, how they affect air quality, extreme weather and global warming. This will help us to build better models to predict air quality, make more accurate forecasts of the monsoon, extreme weather and severe air pollution events. Continuous, long-term monitoring will help us get precise estimates of trends and better understand the impacts of policy interventions to minimize the staggering health and economic impacts of air pollution and climate change.