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Army installs monitoring radar in north Sikkim that can detect avalanche in 3 seconds

The radar can also spot landslides. The device can permanently scan a targeted slope for avalanche release and track its path and size.

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New Delhi: A first of its kind radar – which can see through snow and fog and detect avalanches within three seconds of being triggered – was installed by the Indian Army at one of its forward posts, at an altitude of 15,000 feet in north Sikkim.

The avalanche monitoring radar, which was inaugurated Tuesday, was put in place by the Indian Army and the Defence Geoinformatics and Research Establishment (DGRE), which made the device operational.

A wing of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), DGRE is involved in the forecast and mitigation of avalanches that regularly hit our soldiers in the Himalayan region.

Besides detecting avalanches, the radar can also spot landslides.

The radar, which can see at night, is an all-weather solution that covers an area of 2 sq/km. The device uses a series of short microwave pulses which are scattered at the target. It can permanently scan the targeted slope for avalanche release and track its path and size, the Indian Army said.

The radar is also linked to an alarm system enabling automatic control and warning measures. Images and videos of the event are recorded for future analysis by experts.

“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,” the Army said.

Avalanches are a bane for soldiers posted in high altitude areas and a number of them have lost their lives in such incidents.

The Army’s search and rescue teams, in such areas, have specialised equipment and dogs to rescue people caught in avalanches.

“Warnings, even just a few seconds before the avalanche hit, can help save many lives,” an Army source said.

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