Monday, March 10, 2014

China Using Drones to Combat Air Pollution

Chemical dispersing drones are being used by the Chinese government to combat the serious smog problem in Beijing. The pollution in Beijing is caused primarily by the cities five million motor vehicles, nearby coal burning, dust storms and local construction dust.

Previously, fixed wing aircraft sprayed chemicals that freeze floating particles, allowing them to fall to ground. Now these chemicals will be sprayed by an unmanned parafoil drone designed by the state owned Aviation Industry Corporation of China. The new design uses the same chemicals but can carry three time more weight (700kg) than fixed wing designs making it 90 percent less expensive to operate.

Premier Li Keqiang said in his speech at the National People's Congress in Beijing yesterday the government would "declare war" on pollution. It would focus, in part, on reducing PM2.5, the fine particles of pollutants thought to be most harmful to people's health.

The manufacturer has already carried out about 100 hours of test flights, Ta Kung Pao reported.

The company said the technology also has applications in emergency rescue, disaster relief, aerial photography, surveying and seed-sowing.

Tests will be conducted later in March led by the China Meteorological Administration.

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