Abu Dhabi: The UAE Research Program for Rain Enhancement Science (UAEREP), under the guidance of the National Centre of Meteorology (NCM), has unveiled a field campaign. This campaign is designed to examine the effectiveness of various cloud-seeding materials, both with and without electric charge.
Titled ‘Cloud-Aerosol-Electrical Interactions for Rainfall Enhancement Experiment (CLOUDIX)’, the innovative research drive will be conducted out of Al Ain International Airport in collaboration with Stratton Park Engineering Company (SPEC), a US-based company specializing in cloud physics research and instrumentation.
The campaign includes a series of coordinated flight missions that will cover the UAE airspace and parts of Oman. These missions will utilize NCM’s cloud seeding aircraft and an instrumented research Learjet aircraft operated by SPEC, which was the recipient of UAEREP’s Fourth Cycle grant for its pioneering research project titled ‘Improving the chemical and physical properties of seeding materials through electric charges’.
Dr. Abdulla Al Mandous, President of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and Director-General of NCM, said, “This research campaign demonstrates NCM’s active role in promoting innovative research in areas related to national priorities, including water security.”
The campaign will also aim to train specialized personnel at NCM to conduct cloud physics research and analyze data from optical array probes and scattering probes aboard the research aircraft.
Subsequently, the NCM aircraft will conduct cloud seeding on the same measured cloud by using one of the following seeding approaches: nanomaterial (N), large salt particles (L), and conventional hygroscopic (H) flares, both with and without electric charging (NC, LC, and HC). These seeding methods will be investigated across multiple stages involving diverse cloud targets.
Following the seeding, the Learjet aircraft will re-measure the cloud to observe an active natural secondary ice nucleation process at high altitudes, up to approximately 25,000 feet. This process directly contributes to amplifying cloud seeding effects and increasing rainfall.