Drones are used for aerial photography, surveillance, news coverage, and rescue operations. Now a group of scientists and researchers are figuring out if drones can make it rain. The science is called cloud seeding, and it is being tested in Nevada at an FAA site, four hours north of Las Vegas.
Seeding clouds involves releasing flares of silver iodide from a plane’s wing to generate more ice particles in a cloud. This aims to help a cloud’s ability to produce and enhance precipitation. The weather conditions need to be right for this to take place–cloud cover and even the presence of storms are optimal.
The process has been around for decades and usually involves a piloted aircraft flying into a storm. Now, The Nevada Institute of Autonomous Systems in conjunction with the Desert Research Institute has conducted tests with unmanned drones. They hope to have drones conduct cloud seeding flights in the future. The Governor of Nevada’s office has helped fund the project.