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First Avalanche Monitoring Radar Installed in North Sikkim

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Indian Army and Defence Geoinformatics and Research Establishment (DGRE) have jointly installed the Avalanche Monitoring Radar in North Sikkim. The radar was inaugurated Lieutenant General Tarn Kumar Aich, Ati Vishisht Seva Medal, General Officer Commanding TriShakti Corps on 20 September 2022 at one of the Forward Posts of the Indian Army deployed at an altitude of 15,000 feet in North Sikkim. This radar, a first of its kind in India has the capability to detect avalanches within three seconds of its trigger and will assist in saving valuable life of troops and civilians as also vehicles in Super High Altitude Areas.

The avalanche radar was made operational by DGRE of DRDO,7 an organisation which is involved in forecasting and mitigation of avalanche hazards faced by Indian Army in the Himalayan Region.

This radar uses a series of short micro wave pulses which are scattered at the target and can detect an avalanche in under 3 seconds. The radar can permanently scan the targeted slope for avalanche release and track the path of the avalanche and its size in case it is triggered. The radar can see through snow, fog as well as in the night, making it an all weather solution and covers an area of 2 Sq/km obviating the requirement to place additional instruments in dangerous avalanche prone areas. The radar is also linked to an alarm system enabling automatic control and warning measures in case an avalanche is triggered. Images and videos of the event are automatically recorded for future analysis by the experts. Besides being used for detection of avalanches this radar can also be employed to detect landslides.

In an area where frequency of triggering of avalanches are high, the installation of the first Avalanche Radar will go a long way in safeguarding the life of troops of the Indian Army deployed in harsh terrain and sub zero temperatures while at the same time limiting damage to vehicles and equipments operating at such snowbound High Altitudes Areas.

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