National Center of Meteorology (NCM) today welcomed at the Emirates Weather Enhancement Factory a delegation comprising several leading international and national experts, researchers, scientists and stakeholders who attended the 4th International Rain Enhancement Forum (IREF). The event was organized by the UAE Research Program for Rain Enhancement Science (UAEREP) under NCM’s supervision from 19 to 21 January, 2020.
The delegation was received by His Excellency Dr. Abdulla Al Mandous, Director of NCM and President of the Regional Association II (Asia) of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), along with senior officials from the Center.
The delegation included Her Excellency Dr Nawal Al-Hosany, Permanent Representative of the UAE to IRENA, Dr. Deon Terblanche, Weather and Climate Consultant at World Bank and former Director of Research at the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), Prof. Roelof Bruintjes, a senior scientist at National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), Dr. Steve Griffiths, Senior Vice President for Research and Development at Khalifa University, Dr. Lulin Xue, the UAEREP’s third cycle awardee, Chief Scientist at Hua Xin Chuang Zhi Science and Technology LLC and a member of the Beijing Weather Modification Office advisory panel, Richard Behnke, President at SciencePrime, Dr. Robert Robinson, Chief Scientist at SciencePrime, Prof. Taha Ourada, Professor and Chairman, Canada Research Chair in Statistical Hydro-Climatology at National Institute of Scientific Research, Prof. Steve Siems, Professor at School of Earth Atmosphere and Environment, Monash University, Dr. Gary Thunen, Chief Scientist and Senior Fellow, Advanced Technology Center, Lockheed Martin Space, Dr. Mukul Tewari, Research Staff Member at IBM and Dr. Campbell Watson, Research Staff Member at IBM Research.
During the visit, the delegation learned about the objectives of the-state-of-the-art facility that specializes in the manufacturing of various weather modification products in the UAE, and its plans to conduct innovative research projects in weather modification and rain enhancement.
The factory has developed several samples of specially-designed dispensers to carry innovative nanomaterials as part of one of the program’s first cycle awardee project. Developed in collaboration with the Research, Development and Training department at NCM, these materials will be sprayed into clouds without altering their physical and chemical characteristics using the Center’s custom-designed aircrafts. The materials have high condensation capability at relatively low levels of humidity compared to other materials, and its design prevents the clotting of the materials during the process. The dispensers underwent a series of ground field tests at a specially designed facility within the Emirates Weather Enhancement Factory before being loaded into the aircrafts, to determine the most suitable designs.
Nanomaterials can accelerate water condensation and droplet formation inside the clouds. This results in larger sizes of water droplets during rainfall amounting to up to triple times the old method as proven by the laboratory experiments and cloud chamber tests to simulate cloud development. The Center is carrying out further studies to identify the effect of the materials in the ground operations.
Established by NCM in 2018, the Emirates Weather Enhancement Factory (EWE) is the first of its kind facility in the Middle East to produce hygroscopic salt flares for use in cloud-seeding operations and currently produces two types of flares with a capacity to produce 250 flares per week.