This wonderful news comes to us from India.
Predicting the rains in India happens to be a hit and miss job which is not a 100% accurate. However, three engineering students and a professor from the Chitkara University in Punjab are changing this preconceived notion. They have developed an artificial intelligence enabled technology that can predict when it is going to rain with amazing accuracy.
Instead of relying on data transmitted from satellites, they make use of real time data in order to forecast rains locally. One of the students says, “We collect information from ground based BhuGoal nodes that we have developed instead of being entirely dependent on satellite image data. The data collected is in real-time, therefore the prediction is precise. The Meteorological Department uses outdated satellite image data that are 24 hours old. We use their data as well as our real-time data to provide accurate forecasts. Due to global warming, the weather has become unpredictable over a 24 hour period. We provide different forecasts for every 5 square kilometers.”
The inspiration for this technology came from one of the student’s mother. One day she had asked him to collect the dry clothes from the terrace because it might rain. For the student it was an epiphanic moment. When he thought about the bigger picture he realized that weather monitoring and forecasting should be done in real time to avoid uncertainties.
The student continues, “We use distortions in signals received by a TV set top box and the dish antennae to predict rains. We have been noticing signal distortions whenever the weather turns bad. That is when we realized that dish TV signals could tell us about the weather. We installed a $5 device (BhuGoal nodes) between the set top box and the antennae and from there recorded the variations in signals. The variations are fed to AI algorithms which then have precise predictions.”
The team comprises of students Kartik Vij, Rahul Kinra and Debarshi Ghosh who are mentored by Dr Nitin K Saluja. The students are all final year engineering students at Chitkara University Punjab.
This invention has a lot of scope. The real time information can be shared with farmers who have lost big time to unpredictable rains. The information can also be shared with the owners of grain houses. In the first stage of deployment, the device aims to lessen the worries of grain house owners who see tons of grains being washed away by the rains.
Image source: TechPedia