Dr Paul Lawson will lead intensive series of research flights from Al Ain Airport scheduled for the third quarter of 2018
The UAE Research Program for Rain Enhancement Science (UAEREP) has met with one of its second cycle awardees, Dr Paul Lawson, to prepare for an intensive series of research flights scheduled for the third quarter of 2018.
As the founder of SPEC Incorporated and a renowned participant in over 50 international research projects related to weather modification, Lawson’s research project is developing a new approach to rain enhancement, a statement said.
It leverages ice production processes in cumulus clouds, through seeding in the updrafts at cloud bases, to coalesce frozen water that ultimately could fall as rain.
Set to take place from Al Ain Airport in Q3, flights will involve a custom-designed Learjet research aircraft equipped with sophisticated sensors to gather data and take measurements.
The team is planning a series of flights of up to three hours each over the course of one month, with the aim being to clock at least 30 air hours to ensure that sufficient measurements can be taken.
Dr Abdullah Al Mandous, director of National Centre for Meteorology (NCM), said: "Dr Lawson’s research flights mark a major milestone in his highly innovative research project. Through our awardees’ projects, the NCM and the UAE Research Program for Rain Enhancement Science is continuing to develop global research networks and leading international scientific and technological innovation in rain enhancement.”
Alya Al Mazroui, director of the UAE Research Program for Rain Enhancement Science, added: “Regular meetings and reports enable us to provide support and pool our joint expertise to ensure that our awardees’ ground-breaking projects will have the maximum impact. The excellent progress already made by Dr Lawson and his team confirms that the Program is already having a significant impact in terms of supporting and enabling advanced research in the field.”
Lawson’s team will plan their flights based on NCM radar data identifying optimal locations and times of day for missions. The researchers have already completed extensive preparatory work in the US investigating cumulus clouds with a large range of cloud base temperatures and drop size distributions.
Offering a grant of $5 million for each cycle to be shared by up to five winning research proposals, the UAE Research Program for Rain Enhancement Science has already generated extensive interest among leading scientists and technologists around the world.