Tuesday, March 2, 2021   |   In the News

Azerbaijan Official Discusses the Impact of New Baron Radars for Nation’s Hydrometeorological Services

To improve its weather data collection and analysis capabilities, and to create a more effective alerting system the country of Azerbaijan purchased two Baron C-band Doppler radars and a Lynx Advanced Forecast Workstation.

Azerbaycanca News Agency talked with Deputy Minister Rauf Hajiyev from the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources of Azerbaijan about the impact of the new Baron equipment.

Read the interview translated into English below.

Interview with Deputy Minister Rauf Hajiyev

The Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources of Azerbaijan has recently launched an important program to modernize the country’s National Hydrometeorological Service. The Report spoke with Deputy Minister Rauf Hajiyev.

Could you tell us more about the program of modernization of the hydrometeorological service?

At the initial stage of this program, two new Doppler weather radars were purchased within the framework of state investment projects, which are a key link in the emerging integrated national early warning system. Such an integrated approach will most clearly meet the needs of the weather-dependent sectors of the Azerbaijani economy and its population.

For more than 40 years, several meteorological radars of the MRL-5 type have been operated in the hydrometeorological observation network in Shemakha, Goygol, Agstafa and Sheki, which today have completely exhausted their technical resource, are very outdated both physically and morally. It should be noted that in the 1980s, radars of the MRL-5 type functioned on the territory of Karabakh in Fizuli, Zangilan, Agdera and Khankyandi.

Moral obsolescence is due to the fact that during the time that has passed since the launch of the serial production of the MRL-5 (1970s), radio meteorology has stepped far forward. The introduction of methods of polarization processing significantly expands the list of data obtained, thereby making it possible to assess both the dynamic properties of meteorological objects and the features of their microphysical structure. Modern Doppler meteorological radars are designed to quickly obtain radio meteorological information about dangerous weather phenomena.

When will the work on commissioning the radars be completed?

The completion of all work on commissioning radars in Shamakhi and Goygol, as well as the central system for collecting, processing and displaying radar data in Baku city, is planned in mid-March 2021 before the Novruz holiday.

At present, all radars have been installed and the main task during this period is to launch a central system for collecting, processing and displaying radar data in the city of Baku.

Meteorological radars are the main stage in building a unified national hydrometeorological system. When choosing radars and their location, it was taken into account that Azerbaijan has mountainous terrain, and the most optimal options were investigated to obtain high-quality images. The favorably chosen placement of radars in Shamakhi and Goygol will allow continuous monitoring of the weather in real-time.

One of two Baron C-band Doppler radars in Azerbaijan.

Who is the manufacturer of the radars?

Within the framework of an open tender, a world-renowned manufacturer of meteorological radars – Baron Services, Inc. (USA). The Baron Gen3 350C DP radars work with Lynx software to provide market-leading solutions for the National Hydrometeorological Services in the United States, Canada and many other countries. In the USA alone, 171 Baron radars have been installed.

Are specialists trained to work for them?

National Hydrometeorology Service specialists received two weeks of training from a manufacturer in Huntsville, Alabama, USA. Moreover, our specialists will also undergo 20-days of training at the installation sites of the radar and the central system for collecting, processing and displaying radar data in the city of Baku. The training will be conducted by US specialists.

Who has such radars in our region?

In our region, there are no such systems from the manufacturer Baron Services, Inc.

What are your plans for the future?

The next step in developing an integrated national system is the acquisition and training of technologies that can best use radar data to maximize the benefits and, most importantly, to disseminate this information to the public.

These technologies will be used to create a data and forecast integration center (Situation Center). The new Situation Center will include new equipment and, in the future, forecast modeling and analysis systems needed to get the most out of the new radars. The Situation Center will directly improve the quality of forecast and warning information provided by the National Hydrometeorological Service, and technical and forecast personnel will be fully trained in the independent use and maintenance of the new systems.

Muxtar Babayev, Minister of the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources of Azerbaijan at the site of one of the nation’s Baron radars.