Fri 28-10-2022 15:07 PM
ABU DHABI, 28th October, 2022 (WAM) — The National Meteorological Center (NCM), through the UAE Research Program for Rain Enhancement Science (UAEREP), has completed the second phase of the trials demonstration of innovative technology to explore the possibility of artificial cloud formation by stimulating local updrafts.
The field trials were conducted on Jebel Jeis, the highest peak in the UAE at 1,934 meters above sea level in Ras Al Khaimah, by a research team led by UAEREP 3rd Cycle Laureate Dr. Ali Abshaev and senior researcher at the Research Center for Hail Suppression in Russia.
The team observed cloud processes and precipitation at the local scale in winter in the eastern regions of the United Arab Emirates and compared the results with those of its previous spring tests conducted from February 17 to March 26, 2021.
The objective of the project was to investigate the possibility of stimulating cumulus cloud formation using an innovative composite jet engine system that releases a high-velocity stream of tailored aerosol particles into the atmosphere to to trigger artificial updrafts and, consequently, the formation of clouds.
From December 24, 2021 to January 5, 2022, the team conducted twelve experiments under different atmospheric conditions. Of these, three experiments under clear and cloudless sky conditions, four when convective or stratified convective clouds were above the site or at close range, three with direct interventions in convective clouds, and two with interventions in stratified clouds.
A techno-economic study to scale up and amplify the jet engine system, is the main concern for future work, including more powerful jet engines (or an engine network).
Dr. Abdulla Al Mandous, Director General of the National Meteorological Center (NCM) and President of Regional Association II (Asia), said: “As part of its support for the UAE National Innovation Strategy, the NCM continues to drive innovation in rain enhancement research to meet the aspirations of our wise leaders to ensure water security in the Emirates and beyond.
“Through UAEREP, the center works closely with program winners. It supports their innovative research aimed at finding sustainable water solutions for the benefit of communities threatened by water scarcity. Such efforts go a long way to building local and global capacity in this area of research, while ensuring a sustainable supply of clean water, necessary for our socio-economic development.”
UAE Research Program Director Alya Al Mazroui for Rain Enhancement Science said: “Results from this project have the potential to advance our understanding of cloud formation and development. precipitation by bringing new insights to the science of rain enhancement.The atmospheric data collected during this campaign answers many important questions about cloud formation.
“They will help us determine the optimal conditions for our future rain enhancement operations. We look forward to using the results of these studies to develop more viable and cost-effective cloud seeding methods that will ultimately , will increase our rainfall rates and improve the supply of fresh water.”
The culmination of three years of theoretical, laboratory and numerical modeling work carried out by the project team, phase 1 of the field campaign was completed last year in Jebel Jais. The campaign deployed and tested an innovative composite jet engine system, as well as advanced scientific measurement instruments, including a bespoke weather drone, microwave radiometer, wind lidar, fog cannon and an infrared thermal imager.
The project draws its theoretical basis from ash clouds resulting from volcanic activity which can produce convective clouds leading to the formation of cumulus and cumulonimbus clouds capable of causing precipitation. It attempts to recreate this phenomenon of stimulating cloud formation using more sustainable methods and available technologies.