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  • 29 January, 2024

  • 3 Min Read

Day and Night Microphysics

Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has been issuing alerts with maps from various weather monitoring satellites.

Day and Night Microphysics RGB Imager

  • It is image created by combination of Red, Green and Blue colours.
  • Aim – To study various atmospheric characteristics.
  • Radiometer – A device that measures the properties of radiation by studying the radiation’s interaction with matter.
  • Atmospheric sounders – A devices that measure temperature, humidity and study water vapour as a function of their heights from the ground.
  • Factors determining RGB imager – Solar reflectance and brightness temperature.
  • Applications - It helps in analysis of different cloud types, initial stages of convection, maturing stages of a thunderstorm, identification of snow area, and the detection of fires.
  • It also helps in tracking the formation, evolution and depletion of cyclones and other weather events.

Solar reflectance is a ratio of the amount of solar energy reflected by a surface and the amount of solar energy incident on it.

Brightness temperature is the relationship between the temperature of an object and the corresponding brightness of its surface.

  • Daytime Microphysics (DtMicro) RGB – It is the data formed by combining information about the cloud brightness, cloud particle phase and size, and cloud top temperature.
  • Aim – To distinguish ice from water phase and to monitor the development of convection, fog and low clouds.

Solar Reflectance Recorded by INSAT 3D


Colour beam

Relates to

0.5 µm (visible radiation)

Red colour

Cloud thickness and

amount of cloud water and ice

1.6 µm (shortwave IR radiation)

Green colour

Cloud particle size and phase

10.8 µm (thermal IR radiation)

Blue colour


  • ObservationsWater cloud is more reflective than ice cloud and have a stronger red beam, smaller water or ice particles have a higher reflectivity, resulting in a stronger green beam and warm surface corresponds to strong blue beam component.
  • Night microphysics – It is designed for monitoring the evolution of night time fog and stratus clouds.

Colour band

Determining factors


Difference between 2 Thermal IR


Difference between Thermal IR and a middle IR


Strength of 1 Thermal IR signal

  • Observations – A strong red beam for thick clouds, strong green beam for water clouds with small droplets and a strong blue beam for warm surfaces.

The Kalpana 1 and INSATs 3A, 3D, and 3DR satellites have bolstered India’s weather monitoring and warning services.


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