One of the aims of Project Skyfire is to determine the possibility of preventing lightning fires or reducing their severity by cloud seeding. Research completed to date indicates that cloud modification for purposes of lightning suppression requires the production of enormous quantities of silver iodide nuclei. These nuclei may be dispersed either from ground based equipment or from similar equipment mounted in aircraft. In addition be able to produce a relatively high output of silver iodide nuclei, cloud seeding generators for experiments in lightning suppression should be economical and simple to operate; easy to transport and service in rough,mountainous country; and be safe for use in highly flammable forests. This publication presents the reasons for development of the generator, summarizes calibration procedures and results, and describes the equipment. The generator calibration and development program will be covered fully in a later report.
The Project Skyfire cloud-seeding generator is designed to produce silver iodide nuclei for experiments performed in devising techniques for lightning suppression. This generator produces freezing nuclei by volatilizing a silver iodide-acetone solution in a propane flame.T
The Project Skyfire cloud-seeding generator described in this publication is the result of equipment research by the writers during the spring and summer of 1957 aimed at meeting the broad objectives described above.
Although preliminary tests indicate success in meeting the general objectives, the generator must be considered as still being in a developmental stage. Final evaluation of its performance awaits full scale field tests.