Nisarga Cyclone - June 2020

Time of India - News

All the antennas at the Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope (GMRT) in Junnar have been parked in safe mode as the Nisarga cyclone was expected to pass close to the facility.

“As Nisarga made landfall in Maharashtra and its predicted trajectory was close to GMRT array, the observatory was shut down and all antennas were parked in safe mode since Wednesday morning for the following two days. Hopefully, we will be unscathed,” National Centre for Radio Astrophysics (NCRA) director Yashwant Gupta said.

In the park position, all GMRT antennas point vertically upwards, towards the zenith. The elevation axis is locked with a mechanical arrangement, which is specially designed for this purpose. This will remain in force till Thursday or until the conditions are declared safe.

“We had experienced a wind speed of 80kmph about four years ago. Worst case wind speed in the GMRT region from the cyclone is predicted at 50-60kmph. This is higher than the maximum operating wind speed limit of 45kmph for the antennas,” he said.