The UAE is set to test drones that will fly into clouds and produce a small electrical charge to help them produce rain

An original way of influencing the weather will be experienced in the United Arab Emirates. The British research team will launch special drones with ionizing devices on board into the clouds. Low power electrical charges should lead to the formation of larger droplets of water vapor.

The annual rainfall in the United Arab Emirates is about 100 millimeters. This amount of atmospheric moisture falling on the ground is sorely lacking for the functioning of local agriculture. And the supplies of fresh water are not endless. People need to drink, vegetation needs to be watered, including trees planted everywhere. Therefore, the UAE government is taking various measures to extract vital moisture by any available means.

In addition to developing infrastructure for desalination, significant investments are being made in weather management projects. Traditional methods - like seeding clouds with dry ice (solid carbon dioxide) and silver iodide - can increase precipitation by 30 percent. This is a lot, and every year the number of sorties of specialized aircraft only increases, but still not enough. And the side effects of spraying these chemicals, despite the rich history of their use, are still not fully understood.

Therefore, back in 2017, the UAE government allocated $ 15 million to nine promising projects to increase the amount of rainfall. One of them is being implemented by scientists from the University of Reading, England. The technology offered by British specialists implies the ionization of water vapor in the atmosphere. Under the influence of low-power electric charges, water molecules must combine into drops and rain down.
According to Arab News, the technology will soon be tested in Dubai. Scientists note that, despite the promising simulation results, the success of the experiment is not clear. But if the effect of the drone operation is noticeable, then the relatively modest investment of $ 1.4 million will pay off very quickly. Flying a single cloud seeding plane costs several thousand dollars, and a drone flight hour is significantly cheaper. Moreover, the process does not require any consumables such as chemicals and fuel. It needs only electricity.