Taiwan developing newer model of ground-based rainmaking device

04/12/2021 07:30 PM
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File photo courtesy of the Southern Region Water Resources Office, WRA
File photo courtesy of the Southern Region Water Resources Office, WRA

Taipei, April 12 (CNA) The Water Resources Agency (WRA) is working with the military's top research unit on a new version of its ground-based rainmaking flares that can be shot higher in the air, but it may not be ready in time to help with Taiwan's current drought.

WRA Deputy Director-General Wang Yi-feng (王藝峰) said Monday the new device is being developed in cooperation with the National Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology (NCSIST), with initial testing expected to be carried out by the end of the year.

The flares will be able to reach altitudes of 300-350 meters, well above the 200 meters currently attained by existing models, Wang said.

Because of the altitude limitations of the current system, the flares are vulnerable to air flows in the lower strata of the atmosphere and only produce about a 7-10 percent improvement in precipitation.

According to the WRA official, the new ground-based system will pack stronger explosives that can send the flares carrying cloud-seeding substances higher into the air.

The most common chemicals used for cloud seeding are silver iodide, potassium iodide and dry ice (solid carbon dioxide).

(By Liang Pei-chi and Ko Lin)

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