With the rising air pollution in the country, the Chinese officials are now turning to drones to help in better air quality monitoring. Environmentalists, world over are seeing this as a desperate move that may or may not be successful in combating the rising air pollution crisis threatening to choke China’s otherwise booming productivity.

When the Paris scare happened, we had mentioned that without effective air quality control measures, the air quality of China could very well cross the acceptable WHO standards by over 400%.

Drones are being used in a two pronged strategy by China for effective air quality monitoring. Besides, attempting to use drones to clear the smog, China is also using other kinds of drones to “spy on polluting industries”. This attempt is aimed at identifying the erring industries that contribute to producing lung-choking smog engulfing many of its cities.

Tests for the drones to be used to clear smog were recently conducted successfully at an airport in China’s Hubei Province. This has given the country’s leadership hope that there could be closer to getting rid of the historic levels of smog that routinely envelops China.

These air quality monitoring drones are programmed to work by shooting chemicals into the atmosphere freezing the pollutants. Once frozen, they fall to the ground helping to prevent the creation of smog.

These unmanned drones carry over 176 pounds of haze scrubbing chemicals to help combat the smog. The future versions are touted to hold more than 1,500 pounds. Equipped with a gliding parachute, these drones were developed by a Chinese company. Having completed more than 100 test flights successfully, more soon are rumored to take place at airports and ports in northern China.

The air quality monitoring drones are more than 90% cheaper to operate than the fixed wing aircrafts, currently in use by China uses to spray the same haze scrubbing chemicals. China is often blanketed with a layer of many air pollutants.

A growing concern for the Chinese government, environmental degradation is hampering social stability in the country. Beijing can no longer afford to ignore the environment issue.

According to reports, drones are not China’s first attempt of weather manipulation. Chinese officials are often reported using an arsenal of rockets and aircrafts to disperse air pollutant fighting chemicals like silver iodide. This popular technique is called “cloud seeding” and helps in creating rain, dispelling clouds and clearing the air – preventing smog formation.

The results of these air quality monitoring drones will undoubtedly be short lived as the underlying air pollution problem will remain until addressed at the root cause. Weather trickery  may be able to mask it but not for long!