In April 2021, PT Pindad has produced 1000 Flare CoSAT (Cloud Seeding Agent Tube) for weather modification technology operations to increase the water level of Lake Toba.
“The weather modification operation to increase the water level of Lake Toba is at the same time to save the history of Indonesia’s independence from dependence on flare imports from foreign countries,” said Samsul Bahri, Main Expert Engineer, BBTMC – BPPT in a Potential Webinar on Flare-Based TMC Utilization in Jakarta, Friday. (20/8/2021).
Previously, the use of Flare/CoSAT products in TMC operations was imported from the United States. Flare is a hygroscopic seedling material made of NaCl and CaCl2. The trick is to burn flares and produce particles, so they are easy to spread. Flare is the most effective medium for delivering hygroscopic material to all parts of the cloud.
“TMC-based flares are the latest technique in cloud seeding where chemical particles into the cloud are carried out by means of flares or flares,” said Samsul Bahri.
Actually, BPPT and PT. Pindad (Persero) since 2010 has succeeded in producing domestic flares. Further, Samsul Bahri explained, but the certification of eligibility was only issued in November 2020.
“CoSAT 1000 is very practical, fast and easy to operate. CCN particles produced by flare/CoSAT 1000 are very fine, around 0.7 – 3.3 microns, and there is no agglomeration of seedling material.” he explained.
Samsul also explained that the advantage of the flare-based TMC is that the loading time of the flare / CoSAT 1000 is only a few minutes, ready to fly the aircraft. Thus, maximum in getting window opportunities or seeding within the period of cloud growth.
“The altitude factor of the airport location has no effect, so it is more effective and efficient, and supports the success of a high TMC,” he explained.
Meanwhile, according to Yudi Anantasena, Deputy of TPSA BPPT, the potential for TMC is increasing from year to year. Especially the potential for Flare/CoSAT 1000-based TMC which has high economic value in the future. In fact, to meet the availability of reservoirs/lakes, prevention of hydrometeorological disasters, and to support increased activity in the mining sector.
“In addition to the disaster sector, the role of flare-based TMC is expected to support food security and hydropower. In PERPRES 60/2021 concerning the Rescue of National Priority Lakes, 15 National Priority Lakes have been set, starting from North Sumatra to Papua,” said Yudi Anantasena.
Budi Harsoyo, Coordinator of the General Section of the BBTMC – BPPT for the processing of long flare permits, both for use, transportation, storage, use, ownership, and destruction. While the validity period of the permit is short and must continue to be extended.
“TMC is very dependent on the presence of clouds and the weather changes very quickly, there are often opportunities for the weather to be lost and operations to be delayed or not carried out because the requirements and permits have not been completed,” he said.
According to Budi Harsoyo, although TMC flares are categorized as explosives, they are not categorized as high explosive, but low explosive. “Because the assignment of TMC is often a job and requires a quick reaction for disaster emergency purposes, it is possible that the licensing process can be considered to be simplified or excluded compared to other things,” he said.
Head of BBTMC-BPPT Jon Arifian said that this flare-based TMC has been tested since 1999, for filling the Larona watershed (Lakes Matano, Mahalona and Towuti) in South Sulawesi. The implementation was carried out through research collaborations with 3 countries at that time, namely BPPT (Indonesia), America (Atmospheric Incorporated/continued by Weather Modification Incorporated) and Canada (PT.Inco, Tbk which utilized the Larona watershed at that time).
“Until now, the flare method has been used several times in TMC operations, both using Piper Cheyenne aircraft and from the ground using GBG (Ground Based Generator) towers. Such as the TMC operation for preventing the last Jabodetabek flood and the TMC operation for hydropower and mining needs,” he explained.
On a separate occasion, the Head of BPPT Hammam Riza said that in the future Artificial Intelligence (KA) and IoT technology could help BBTMC specifically in carrying out TMC operations.
“The railway provides evidence-based forecasts of the condition of the TMC target area, while IoT can support automation in the implementation of TMC, especially the Flare/CoSAT 1000-based TMC using the Ground Base Generator method. In addition, research has also been explored on the use of unmanned aerial vehicles that are used to deliver this Flare/CoSAT seedling material into the cloud,” concluded Hammam Riza.