RAPID: Gateway to Indian Weather Satellite Data

The INSAT series of satellites carrying Very High Resolution Radiometer (VHRR) have been providing data for generating cloud motion vectors, cloud top temperature, water vapour content, etc., facilitating rainfall estimation, weather forecasting, genesis of cyclones and their track prediction. These satellites have also carried Data Relay Transponders (DRT) to facilitate reception and dissemination of meteorological data from in-situ instruments located across vast and inaccessible areas. Currently, there are three meteorological satellites Kalpana-1, INSAT-3A and INSAT-3D in the geosynchronous orbit. Quick visualisation and analysis of data and products enable accurate weather assessments. Towards this, Space Applications Centre (SAC), ISRO, Ahmedabad has developed a weather data explorer application - Real Time Analysis of Products and Information Dissemination (RAPID) which is hosted in India Meteorological Department (IMD) website. This software acts as a gateway to Indian Weather Satellite Data providing quick interactive visualisation and 4-Dimensional analysis capabilities to various users like application scientists, forecasters, and the common man.

This innovative application introduces the concept of next generation weather data access and advanced visualisation capabilities. It provides access to the previous 7-day satellite data including images and geophysical parameters from Indian Satellites in near real time. More than 150 Products from Indian Weather Satellites are being hosted using this application. The scientific products which affect our daily lives like Fog, Rainfall, Snow, Temperature, etc., retrieved from INSAT-3D and Kalpana-1 are made available for the common man. It also provides animation of images based on start/end time. This feature is very useful in visualising the movement of severe weather events like cyclones.

This tool integrates the ISRO’s Geo-portal Bhuvan Map Layer enabling the user to get zoomed view of a city. ‘Place Search’ allows the user to search, based on place name or latitude/longitude. The administrative boundaries have been integrated to provide zoomed view upto district level. The Indian Sub-basins boundaries and Flood Meteorological Office (FMO) basins provide a view of basins and sub-basins.

This web application provides many analysis features that are of interest to the scientific community. These features include Point Probe, Time Series, Vertical Profile and Transect, Box Statistics, Distance and Area Plots. It also provides simple image processing features like Contrast Stretch, Transparency, Red Green Blue (RGB) composites from multiple layers and colour table applications. Colour tables and RGB composites help in enhancing severe weather events like cyclones, fog, cloud conditions, rainfall, etc. RAPID also provides access to the temperature and humidity vertical profiles of the atmosphere at various pressure levels retrieved from INSAT-3D Sounder, the only Geostationary Sounder over the Indian Region.

In addition to the satellite data, RAPID provides support for overlaying the ground observation data from Automatic Weather Stations (AWS) of ISRO and Global Telecommunication System (GTS). These AWS measures the parameters like Temperature, Rainfall, Sunshine, Wind Direction/ Speed and Humidity. Option is also provided to synchronise ground observation with satellite data.

The latest addition to RAPID is 'Nowcast Data', which provides the forecast for next 3 hours prediction of the convective cells development and possible areas of thunderstorm.

As per the recent directive from the Government of India on the effective use of space technology by user ministries, more than 20 ministry portals were unveiled and have been discussed during the National Meet on the use of space technologies, chaired by Hon’ble Prime minister of India. RAPID has become a popular platform that hosts data from Indian Geostationary Meteorological Satellite Missions in Geo-graphical Information System (GIS) environment in the country.

RAPID is also acting as a hub for satellite data and scientific products. They are effectively used for scientific studies and help students, researchers and organisations to understand the atmospheric phenomenon. During the second day of India-South Africa Test Match at Bengaluru, (Nov 14-18, 2015), RAPID received a whopping 4000 hits as there was a large cloud cover over Southern India. There was a special mention by cricket commentators about RAPID for the latest weather conditions.

A special session towards the effective utilisation of weather data using RAPID was carried out at latest SPIE Conference held at Delhi during April 4-7, 2016. RAPID was presented and received special appreciation by Global Community in CGMS-44 Conference  hosted by EUMETSAT at Biot, France during June 5-10, 2016. RAPID has become a widely popular site among all the age groups and nearly 3 lakh hits have been received since Aug 2015.

NDVI Point Probes with District Boundary Overlay in Red Color

NDVI Point Probes with District Boundary Overlay in Red Color

 

Monthly Sea Surface Temperature (SST) Time Series Plot  (Nov 2014)

Monthly Sea Surface Temperature (SST) Time Series Plot  (Nov 2014)

 

INSAT-3D TIR-1 (10.8 micron) Brightness Temperature Image of Hudhud Cyclone in Bay of Bengal dated October 11, 2014

INSAT-3D TIR-1 (10.8 micron) Brightness Temperature Image of Hudhud Cyclone in Bay of Bengal dated October 11, 2014

 

GB Composite of INSAT-3D - VIS (0.65 micron), Shortwave IR (1.625 micron) and TIR-1 (10.8 micron) Reflectance

RGB Composite of INSAT-3D - VIS (0.65 micron), Shortwave IR (1.625 micron) and TIR-1 (10.8 micron) Reflectance

Yellow Color shown in Indo Gangetic Plain indicates dense Fog cover. The Orange Color shown in Indian Ocean is dense high Level Clouds

 

Temperature Vertical Profile Plot and Profile of INSAT-3D Sounder

Temperature Vertical Profile Plot and Profile of INSAT-3D Sounder