China’s first artificial rain enhancement operation using an unmanned flying drone has been successful completed, reports thepaper.cn.
The operation, performed by Shaanxi Zhongtian Rocket Technology Company, is the first rain enhancement operation using a drone to perform cloud seeding to trigger precipitation under complex weather conditions. This operation highlights the potential for drone technology to be used in future rain enhancement operations.
It is reported that the drone has an effective flight time of 125 to 250 minutes with a maximum payload of 50 kilograms. The unmanned aerial vehicle can be monitored and controlled in real-time from operators on the ground.
Compared with the conventional rain enhancement methods of using ground-based cannons and manned aircraft to disperse cloud seeding chemicals, drones have the advantages of both long flight times and the capacity to work in complex weather conditions.