The centre of excellence which specialises in reading the weather conditions of the space and helps the air traffic on their polar routes is scheduled to come up in Kolkata by the middle of 2013. The space weather reading centre in Kolkata will be first of its kind and is approved by Union HRD Ministry. This centre would be coming up at Indian Institute of Science, Education and Research (IISER) campus. The Union HRD Ministry sanctioned 4 crore Rupees for the centre.
The coordinator of the centre explained that the centre of excellence in space sciences shall focus on areas of the space weather, primarily the weather conditions in the solar system as well as the gravitational physics.
The coordinator also explained that solar flares and the coronal mass ejections (CME) were the kinds of storms that originated from the Sun and exposed various flights to huge amount of radiations on the Polar Regions. Various commercial flights from North America, Europe and South Asia fly from the Polar Regions to shorten the distance as well as save time.
With the help of this centre, there will be an availability of the prior information about these storms which originate in the space or the solar system. This information can eventually be passed on to the civil aviation department, which in turn can inform the airlines regarding the adverse effects of flying in Polar Regions or high altitudes.
In case the weather in solar system is not up to the mark, it would have an adverse effect on the functioning of the satellites as well, which eventually also affects the mobile networks and the GPS systems. The information about the poor weather conditions in the space can also be communicated to the telecommunication department. This would allow them to safeguard the satellites in the space.
This centre would initially offer the readings free of cost to the telecommunication department and the civil aviation, but later this data would be available commercially.
Apart from offering assistance to the air traffic on the polar routes, this centre of excellence will also be helpful in functioning of the GPS networks as well as mobile satellites which are placed already in the space.