The government will procure two more supercomputers in order to improve weather forecasting in the country, a top ministry official said on Sunday, adding that the combined computing powers would be eight times the existing capacity.
Ministry of Earth Sciences Secretary M Rajeevan said plans are afoot to buy these supercomputers, with a combined total computing speed of 80 petaflops at a cost of approximately Rs. 1,500 crore.
The MoES currently has two supercomputers -- one at the National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecast (NCMRWF), Noida, and the other at Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, Pune -- with a combined capacity of 10 petaflops.
Union Minister for Earth Sciences Harsh Vardhan was also briefed about the priority procurement after he took charge of the ministry for a second time last week, the secretary said.
The new supercomputers will be set up at the two existing institutes of the MoES, Mr Rajeevan said.
He said the ministry has formed a panel of experts to assess whether to buy two supercomputers of 40 petaflops capacity each or two units of 60 petaflops and 20 petaflops each.
"We have been improving our weather forecasting. We are currently giving weather forecast with a (satellite) resolution of 12 kilometres. We plan to take it to 5 kilometres for district and block level forecast and we need high computing for that," Mr Rajeevan said.
These supercomputers are used to compute data related to weather forecasting and running different weather and climate models.
They also play a critical role in computing data for monsoon and extreme weather event and are also used by other institutes of the MoES such as the India Meteorological Department.