Tuesday 15 June 2021 - 11:20:48 am

National Centre of Meteorology completes Phase 1 of innovative research campaign

ABU DHABI, 4th May, 2021 (WAM) -- The National Centre of Meteorology (NCM), through the UAE Research Programme for Rain Enhancement Science (UAEREP), has completed the first phase of an innovative research campaign to explore the possibility of artificial cloud formation by stimulating local updrafts.

The experiments are conducted using an innovative jet engine composite system that releases a high-velocity stream of customised aerosols particles into the atmosphere to trigger cloud formation.

A culmination of three years of theoretical, lab-scale and numerical modelling work conducted by the project team, Phase 1 of their field campaign in the UAE entails the logistical and engineering set-up and testing ahead of Phase 2 which is dedicated to the scientific demonstrations planned from this November to February 2022. Phase 1 was conducted from 17th February to 26th March, 2021, in Jebel Jais, Ras Al Khaimah – the UAE's highest peak at 1,934 metres above sea level. The campaign benefits from Professor Abshaev’s wealth of experience in field campaigns in the mountains of the North Caucasus, Transcaucasia, Central Asia, Eastern Europe and South America.

To support the field experiments and gather key atmospheric data on updraft formation in the mountainous parts of the UAE, the team successfully deployed and tested their innovative jet engine composite system on the Jebel Jais, in addition to their advanced scientific measurement instrumentation, including a custom-made weather drone, microwave radiometer, wind lidar, fog cannon, and thermal infrared imager, among others.

The team conducted three successful tests of their jet engine system and observed the creation of a strong vertical updraft in the shape of a vortex reaching between 500 and 1,000 metres above ground level. Phase 2 of the campaign will target the high humidity levels during winter to provide moisture for the hygroscopic material within this vortex to trigger cloud formation.

Dr. Abdulla Al Mandous, Director of the NCM and President of the Regional Association II (Asia), said, "Recognising the importance of water as a precious resource to sustain life, the programme has deployed all of its capabilities to drive new solutions to the global water security challenge through effective international collaboration. Such efforts are vital to close the gap between supply and demand, especially in water-stressed regions."

Alya Al Mazroui, Director of the UAEREP, said, "The technical and logistic support provided by the UAEREP to Professor Abshaev’s test campaign articulates the programme’s continued efforts to advance rain enhancement science through accelerating the development of new technologies. We congratulate Professor Abshaev and his team for completing the first phase of his research campaign."