Weighty device

Published: Friday 15 August 2003

-- The National Geophysical Research Institute (ngri), Hyderabad, has procured an instrument that can measure the absolute gravity at any location with great accuracy. The absolute gravimeter (ag) has been purchased from us firm Micro G Solutions for Rs 1.8 crore. The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research and Department of Ocean Development have provided funds for the machine, which is the first of its kind in India.

According to ngri scientist Bijendra Singh, "The apparatus is based on the simple principle of free-falling bodies. This is a high precision, transportable instrument." The ag will be used to study vertical crustal deformations on the earth arising out of tectonic disturbances. It will also monitor the vertical deformation at tide gauge stations along the Indian coast to distinguish sea level fluctuations resulting from climate change, and will explore for minerals and petroleum.

The ag will soon be mounted at Visakhapatnam, Goa, Chennai, Delhi, Nagpur and Dehradun. It will also be taken to Antarctica during the summer camp of 2003-2004 to establish an absolute gravity station at the Indian camp.

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