Mar 26, 2014, 03.00 PM IST | Source: Skymetweather.com
China employs drones to curb air pollution
China being the largest nation of the world with a population of 1.3 billion, have often found itself covered in a thick blanket of air pollution and smog. China is now actively relying on drones to spy on smog-forming companies.
According to local media, the drones have been used to capture pictures of illicit emissions from smokestack scrubbers. If these companies work properly than only white smoke is emitted. But if the pollution level crosses limits than black, purple and brown smoke will come out of the chimneys.
The ministry first introduced four drones in 2012 and they have already helped the country to address a plethora of environment related issues.
Why use drones?
The ministry is also considering the use of drones to shoot chemicals into the air and freeze the suspended pollutants during peak air pollution periods. The drones are unmanned vehicles which presently have the capacity to carry nearly 180 pounds of haze-scrubbing chemicals but in future could carry more than 1500 pounds. The unmanned aircraft which comes with a gliding parachute can make a two hour journey at a time, covering 70 sqkm.
Deploying drones is apparently a 90 per cent cheaper mechanism than using the fixed-wing aircrafts to spray the same chemicals.
A major problem- Environmental degradation
Environmental pollution has become a major cause of concern for China and it’s an issue that can no longer be neglected. The nation is also aiming at lowering energy consumption and minimizing vehicle exhaust fumes and closing down many coal furnaces to reduce emissions.
In order to mask smog and pollution, China has also been using arsenal of rockets and artilleries to disperse chemicals like silver iodide into the sky. This method is known as ‘cloud seeding’, which helps to bring rain and thereby, clearing the sky.
At present the drones are doing a commendable job in this war again pollution and lung-choking smog.
picture courtesy- Sean Gallagher
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