India unveils fastest computer to boost weather predictions

Bhaskara 0206New Delhi (ISJ) ? India on Tuesday (June 02), unveiled the fastest computer in South East Asia to predict the weather systems. The computer ?Bhaskara?, named after the 12th century mathematician, known for the discovery of the principles of differential calculus and its applications to astronomical problems and computations.

?Bhaskara? will considerably enhance prediction capabilities like tropical cyclones, heavy rainfalls, cloud bursts monsoon, using very high resolution regional models.

The system, with a capacity of 350 Teraflop, or one trillion bytes, will provide weather forecasts and probabilistic forecasts 10 days in advance from a 44-member ensemble prediction system within the generally accepted time window of about 5 hours from the standard observation time.

?Now we are ahead of China and the UK and match the facilities of Europe and the US,? said Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Minister for Science & Technology and Earth Sciences, dedicating the system to the nation.

?The system is capable of predicting climate change, and several parameters which may have bearing on healthcare, like dust, rain and wind,? explained Dr. Praveen Kumar Devarajan, Scientist at the National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting (NCMRWF).

CrayXMP 0206India has also signed a bilateral agreement with RIMES ? Regional Integrated Multi-hazard Early Warning System for Africa and Asia and the data generated at ?Bhaskara? will also be made available to Bangladesh, Bhutan, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Thailand.

The first super computer for weather forecast in India ? Cray XMP 14 (one processor and four million words memory) was acquired from the United States, but it came with a condition, the computer would be used exclusively for weather prediction. It was unveiled by then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi on March 25, 1989.

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