A team of British scientists from the University of Readingbegan testing a technology to increase precipitation in the Persian Gulf region using unmanned aerial vehicles that transmit electrical discharges to clouds. The contract worth $ 1.4 million was paid by the UAE government.
New technology to increase rainfall in aridareas where the annual rainfall does not exceed 100 mm, theoretically should increase the amount of precipitation by 30 percent. Previously, aircraft were used for these purposes, spraying chemicals into the atmosphere.
The increase in precipitation has a hugeimportance for the UAE, a country importing up to 80% of food. In 2017, the country's government allocated $ 15 million for nine pilot projects aimed at increasing fresh water supplies. One of these projects from engineers at the University of Reading has now come to the prototype testing stage.
The main idea of British scientists will be to increasethe electrical potential of clouds in order to initiate condensation of moisture into droplets and cause rainfall. Receiving additional electrical discharge from unmanned aerial vehicles, small droplets are more likely to "combine" into larger droplets under the action of electrostatic force and subsequently turn into raindrops.
Equipped with a device for the emission of electricalcharges and customizable sensors, drones will fly at low altitudes and deliver an electrical charge to air molecules, which should contribute to precipitation. The tests will take place at the flight center in Dubai.