While the use of drones to aid irrigation of crops is being explored by air cargo operators, AvMet International based in Fargo, North Dakota has signed a contract with Textron Aviation for one Beechcraft King Air 360CHW and four Beechcraft King Air 260 aircraft. This fleet will support the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s National Center for Meteorology program for cloud seeding. “We’re honored AvMet has chosen a fleet of Beechcraft King Air aircraft to support the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s National Center for Meteorology cloud seeding program,” said Bob Gibbs, vice president, special mission, sales, Textron Aviation. Cloud seeding chemicals may be dispersed by aircraft or by dispersion devices located on the ground (generators or canisters fired from anti-aircraft guns or rockets). For release by aircraft, silver iodide flares are ignited and dispersed as an aircraft flies through the inflow of a cloud. When released by devices on the ground, the fine particles are carried downwind and upward by air currents after release. Since 2021, the United Arab Emirates has been using a new technology: drones equipped with a payload of electric-charge emission instruments and customised sensors fly at low altitudes and deliver an electric charge to air molecules. This method produced a significant rainfall in July 2021.
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