1st LD: China deploys large UAV for ecological protection

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LANZHOU, Jan. 6 (Xinhua) -- China deployed a large unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) on Wednesday for generating artificial precipitation in northwest China's Gansu Province, with an aim of boosting ecological protection.

The large UAV, Ganlin-1, meaning "sweet rain" in Chinese, took off from Jinchuan airport in Gansu's city of Jinchang at 3:24 p.m. Wednesday.

This innovative move in ecological protection marks the launch of China's first large UAV-based weather-modification system, filling the country's gap in the field.

During its maiden voyage, which lasted around 40 minutes, Ganlin-1 maintained stable flight and successfully conducted weather-modification operations, such as atmospheric detection and catalyst spreading to generate precipitation, as well as the de-icing of the UAV itself.

"The Ganlin-1 large UAV contributes to the building of 'Beautiful China' with smart aviation," said Li Yidong, chief designer of the UAV.

"This large UAV, independently developed by China, represents a breakthrough in weather modification and provides an innovative option for ecological protection," Li said.

Ganlin-1 was jointly developed by Gansu Meteorological Bureau, Chengdu Aircraft Design and Research Institute of AVIC, and AVIC (Chengdu) Unmanned Aircraft System Co. Ltd.

Based on China's independently developed Wing Loong-2 UAV, this new vehicle is focused on artificial precipitation, with the aim of conducting weather-modification missions in complex weather conditions.

The UAV is capable of long-range atmospheric sounding, air-data acquisition and catalyst seeding for precipitation enhancement, according to the developer.

Aside from its relatively low cost, the new UAV has several advantages over manned aircraft, including the ability to fly for longer periods in challenging weather conditions due in part to its anti-icing and de-icing features. It also has a large carrying capacity, extensive data collection capabilities and considerable growth potential. Enditem

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