UAE uses drones to increase rainfall

Researchers from the University of Reading were commissioned by the UAE to explore ways to use drones to launch electrical energy into the clouds to induce rainfall in the Gulf. The UAE has paid 1.4 million U.S. dollars to the British research team to test how electric charges expand and merge water droplets to form rain.

According to the data, this is a new measure to promote "cloud broadcasting". Use airplanes to drop chemicals into the clouds, thereby increasing rainfall by 30%. About 80% of the UAE's food supply comes from imports, which has raised concerns about the sustainable development of this oil country. But the researchers hope to stop the rainfall trend by using drones to send pulses of charged ions into the atmosphere. They believe that using low-power electrical pulses on cloud drops can promote the formation of raindrops.

The country is already using cloud seeding technology and spreading salt to encourage precipitation. However, since the average rainfall in the UAE is only 100 millimeters per year, the country hopes to increase production. In 2017, the government provided US$15 million (£10.8 million) in funding for nine different rainwater improvement projects.

Alya Al-Mazroui, director of the UAE Enhanced Rainfall Science Research Project, said that the remote-controlled drone developed in the UK will be tested at the flight center in Dubai.

She said: "These drones are equipped with charge-emitting instruments and custom sensors. They will fly at low altitudes and deliver charges to air molecules, which will promote precipitation."

Dr. Keri Nicoll, an associate professor at the University of Reading, who participated in this project, said: “If you emit electric charges in the clouds, the electric charges will soon be collected by the water droplets. We The theory and modeling work of the company shows that charging these small droplets can increase the possibility that they will merge through electrostatic force, and ultimately help them become raindrops.

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Body length




Maximum takeoff weight


Maximum payload




Flight radius


(depending on the amount of oil loaded)

Maximum control distance

Remote control (manual control): 1km

Ground station control (depending on the distance of the digital transmission): 30km standard

Maximum speed


Cruising speed


Maximum oil load


Lift limit


Maximum wind resistance

12m/s(6 level winds)

Use environment

-10+45; anti-light rain

Vertical takeoff and landing

32*8000mAh-6S Li battery

Takeoff and landing mode

Vertical takeoff and landing