On His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s Royal Rainmaking Project
A country will only be able to survive when its citizens can earn a living. Although Thailand has long been an agricultural nation, one issue that often plagued its people was the shortage of water for cultivation and consumption. When His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej traveled to the fifteen Northeastern provinces of Thailand in the year 1955, he became aware of the suffering that his people, and especially farmers, faced due to lack of rain. Yet, His Majesty noted that when he looked to the sky, there was no shortage of clouds.
When His Majesty returned to Bangkok, He called for an audience with M.R. Thepparit Devakul, a well respected engineer and inventor. The King spoke about his ideas to modify the weather and make it rain, this was the start of the ‘Royal Rainmaking Project’.
“The first principle is based on scattering a material that absorbs moisture (sea salt) from an aircraft to remove humidity from the air. Then another cold material (dry ice) should be released to help condense the moisture into clouds.” From this original theory, His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej committed an additional fourteen years to perfecting the concept whilst conferring with M.R. Thepparit Devakul who specialised in Agricultural engineering and research for the Ministry of Agriculture.
In the Year 1969 the first trial for artificial rain was conducted at Khao Yai National Park. Dry ice cubes measuring approximately one cubic inch were dropped into clouds which were no higher than 10,000 feet above the ground. The clouds were scattered over the test site, but in the moment the ice was dropped, the clouds became dense. It appeared from the ground that a large rain cloud had formed. Later, villagers verbally confirmed rainfall in the area of the test site.
In 1999, His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej created a “Rainmaking Chart” from his own computer to illustrate the process of cloud seeding to create artificial rain. The chart also included how to seed warm, super-cool and mixtures of warm and cool clouds. In addition to being the nectar that nourishes the populace of the country of Thailand, the artificial rain project went on to benefit many other countries that experienced a shortage of water. Notably, His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s rainmaking project was used to aid the countries of Jordan, Tanzania, Australia and Oman.
In the year 2000, the Council of Ministers of Thailand honoured His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej as “The Father of Technology” for his efforts in creating the ‘Royal Rainmaking Project’.