Finnish firm may help weather forecasting during Commonwealth Games

By Rahul Dass, IANS,

Helsinki : A Finnish company that supplied equipment for real-time weather predictions for the Beijing Olympics is the lowest bidder for a similar project for the Indian capital for the October Commonwealth Games.

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“There is a proposal for a network of weather stations in Delhi at 60 locations, including stadiums and downtown areas,” said Sami Haga of the Finnish company Vaisala Oyj that specialises in instrumentation for weather predictions.

“The weather stations will give time-wise and location-wise information in real time. This data will help the weather forecasting process during the Commonwealth Games,” Haga, who overseas Vaisala’s India operations, told IANS.

“The system will be a dense instrumentation network and will provide data which is important for athletes and sports officials.”

Kjell Forsen, president and chief executive, said Vaisala was looking closely at the Indian market. “We supplied equipment for the Beijing Olympics and we hope to do the same for the Commonwealth Games,” he told this reporter in the Finnish capital.

“We opened our office in New Delhi two years ago – one of our 30 offices worldwide. We are very keen to work with the Indian Meteorological Department. Vaisala is a unique provider, as it is a one-stop shop for weather instrumentation.”

The Commonwealth Games are to be held in New Delhi during Oct 3-14 and a flurry of preparations is on for the multi-country multi-sport event.

According to Haga, the Indian Meteorological Department is also modernising the weather observation infrastructure and weather radars are to be installed in Delhi and Jaipur.

“We were the lowest bidders and now the final approval is awaited.”

Giving a global picture of his company, Forsen said worldwide 1,400 radio zones, or balloons fitted with instruments, are released into the atmosphere every day and many of them were Vaisala products.

Headquartered in this city, the company is nearly 75 years old and focuses on science-based innovation and technology for environmental measurement. It has some 1,100 professionals and is listed on the Nordic Exchange.

(Rahul Dass can be reached at [email protected])