More rains in UAE? New cloud seeding project launched

Abu Dhabi - Electric charge emission being tested to enhance rainfall.


Published: Tue 9 Mar 2021, 5:08 PM

Last updated: Tue 9 Mar 2021, 11:54 PM

The National Centre of Meteorology (NCM) has launched a new research that is set to enhance rainfall in the country.

The research, in conjunction with the UAE Research Programme for Rain Enhancement Science (UAEREP), will evaluate the effectiveness of electric charge emissions on cloud droplets to enhance rainfall.

Led by Giles Harrison, Professor of Atmospheric Physics at the University of Reading in the UK, the campaign is conducted with the support of experts from the NCM, UAEREP and several local and international research and academic organisations including the University of Reading and the University of Bath, UK.

"Our project aims to evaluate the importance of charge in affecting the cloud droplet size distribution and rainfall generation through modifying the behaviour of droplets and particles," Harrison said.

Charge emission technology uses a small and lightweight platform to deliver a charge into the clouds instead of traditional cloud seeding payloads which require much larger aircraft. This method does not involve the emission of any solid particles into clouds such as silver iodide or salt.

Taking place at the SANAD Academy, the research uses advanced Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) equipped with a payload of electric charge emission instruments and sensors.

The effectiveness of the payload is tested on clear air days, and once conditions permit, in light fog with presence of dust particles in the atmosphere, it is expected to lead to more highly-charged conditions.

Dr. Abdulla Al Mandous, NCM Director and President of the Regional Association II (Asia), said, "NCM is committed to mitigating the risk of water stress on arid and semi-arid regions around the world, while enhancing the country’s status as a global hub for rain enhancement research."


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