Earth, Atmosphere & Environment Sciences

Title :

Designing and fabrication of indigenous anti-hail guns and evaluation of their effectiveness to combat hailstorms for sustainable apple production in Himachal Pradesh

Area of research :

Earth, Atmosphere & Environment Sciences

Focus area :

Hail Mitigation

Principal Investigator :

Dr Sudarshan Kumar, Professor, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay

Timeline Start Year :


Contact info :


Executive Summary :

Every year, the apple growers in the state of Himachal Pradesh alone lose 80 – 100 crores worth of apple crop due to hail storms. Many other states are equally affected by the hail-storms, therefore, necessitating the need of development of effective hail mitigation technologies. In this project, an effort will be made to indigenously develop an anti hailgun, which works on the principle of a detonation wave generation using conventional acetylene fuel and air mixtures. This technology of detonation waves is used in various propulsion application of aerospace engineering. Currently, an imported anti hailgun costs around 65 – 70 lakh per piece and these guns have been deployed a couple of places in Himachal Pradesh by Department of horticulture with mixed response. High installation cost limits the number of installations only to a limited area and benefits cannot be harvested all over the state. Hence the need for the low cost and indigenous design. This project aims at developing the indigenous technology for anti hailguns with a cost of around 8 – 10 lakhs. These guns another problem of high operational cost due to the use of the acetylene. Another major aim of the project would be to operate these guns with LPG fuel as it is available easily and will help in significantly reducing the operating costs of these guns. Acetylene cylinders are currently transported from nearly 100 km distance thereby, increasing the cost of consumables. Operation of the gun will be completely automatic. Gun will the fitted with the weather radar which will monitor the cloud movement. Gun will become active depending on the location of the gun and the cloud. The health of the gun, fuel indicator, weather data will be available readily on the farmer's phone. They can manually control the operation of the gun. There is certain lack of understanding about of the success of the anti-hail guns presently in use in suppressing the hail storms. The usage of anti-hail guns and their practical utility have very few studies which scientifically need to be explored to understand the mechanism of hail suppression and develop an effective hail suppression system. The investigatots are in talks with Himachal Pradesh government about the initial installation of anti-hail. To ensure continuous functioning of the system, they are planning to operate on service basis with a charge of around Rs 15,000 per month including all the maintenance for 5 years. 2 or 3 farmers can share one gun. Around 50 guns are planned in the first year after the release of the product. Their vision is not to lose a single life due to the damage caused by the hailstorm. Their aim is to bring down the damage caused by the hailstorm to half in the 5 years of time hence save hundreds of lives.


Dr Neeraj Ratnakar Kumbhakarna, Assistant Professor, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay

Total Budget (INR):


Achievements :

Detailed studies have been carried out in the laboratory to understand the various aspects of technology development. 1. Various laboratory-scale prototypes were developed. 2. Detailed testing of DDT (deflagration to detonation transition studies) with different fuels carried out. 3. Role of various parameters on efficient design has been studied 4. The design has been appropriately optimized. 5. A new prototype has been designed and is currently under fabrication for field trials. 6. The prototype will be installed for field trials soon. Field trial studies are currently being planned out. The aim of the field studies is to experimentally check the performance of a full-scale model in the field. More studies are planned to be carried out in the field.

Organizations involved