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Patent Watch Weather Control PUBLIC ACCESS

[+] Author Notes

Kirk Teska is the author of Patent Project Management (ASME Press) and Patent Savvy for Managers (Nolo), is an adjunct law professor at Suffolk University Law School, and is the managing partner of Iandiorio Teska & Coleman, an intellectual property law firm in Waltham, Mass.

Mechanical Engineering 134(05), 42-43 (May 01, 2012) (2 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2012-MAY-4

Abstract

This article presents an overview of few patents on the fringe of environmental engineering involving weather control. In the Patent number 462,795 issued in 1891, liquefied carbonic acid gas is placed in a shell, shot into the atmosphere, and exploded. The gas evaporates and in so doing allegedly cools down the atmosphere producing moisture in a cloud and ultimately rain. The wildest rainmaking patent is number 1,103,490, dated July 14, 1914. The inventor, J.M. Cordray, describes numerous balloons released into the atmosphere and then a lot of explosions. Some balloons include bags of water; others include finely crushed bone and concentrated sulphuric acid; still other balloons include canisters of giant powder, and chloride [sic] of potash; and yet still another set of balloons includes oil burners and a tank of water to produce steam. The claimed method of producing rain involves violently disturbing the air above the earth, then heating the air and supplying moisture and nitrogen into the air.

Article

Men have long thought about controlling what, so far, they cannot: Mother Nature. Let's take a look at a few patents on the fringe of environmental engineering involving weather control.

There are many patents, both old and new, on the topic of producing rain. The earliest I could find is No. 462,795 issued in 1891. Liquefied carbonic acid gas is placed in a shell, shot into the atmosphere, and exploded. The gas evaporates and in so doing allegedly cools down the atmosphere producing moisture in a cloud and ultimately rain.

The wildest rainmaking patent is No. 1,103,490, dated July 14, 1914.

The inventor, J.M. Cordray, describes numerous balloons released into the atmosphere and then a lot of explosions. Some balloons include bags of water (to moisten the air); others include “finely crushed bone and concentrated sulphuric acid” (you know, to produce nitrogen); still other balloons include canisters of “giant powder” (a type of blasting powder), and “chlorid [sic] of potash” (reason unclear); and yet still another set of balloons includes oil burners and a tank of water in order to produce steam. The claimed method of producing rain involves “violently disturbing the air above the earth, then heating the air and supplying moisture and nitrogen into the air.”

A device to be towed by a plane at 400 knots is intended to dissipate the energy of violent storms.

Grahic Jump LocationA device to be towed by a plane at 400 knots is intended to dissipate the energy of violent storms.

In 1911, retired Rear Admiral Franklin Drake wrote patent No. 990,121 for a device which dissipates fog. While in command of the U.S.S. Albatross, Drake “engaged in making deep sea explorations and observed that in the great fog generating belt of the Behring Sea, in the Japan and gulf streams, as well as in the polar currents, the fog is suspended in barely perceptible air currents near the surface of the water and does not reach to the higher altitudes at all.” In his fog-dissipating machine, an acetylene gas and air mixture is ignited and the resulting explosion produces an upwardly moving column of hot air resulting in convection currents which lift the fog.

Tornadoes have been a particular problem of late and there are a few patents proposing different ways of handling them. No. 4,362,280 (Dec. 7, 1982) describes a “fluid dynamic converter” towed by a plane at 400 knots into the “clear air inflow region” of a violent storm to supposedly disrupt the normal flow of the storm system and upset its balance, and thereby contribute to the dissipation of the storm's energy. In patent No. 7,810,420, a drone delivers liquid nitrogen into a tornado to cool it and allegedly “choke” the tornado.

Balloons carrying various substances, including explosives, were proposed as a method to make rain.

Grahic Jump LocationBalloons carrying various substances, including explosives, were proposed as a method to make rain.

Similarly, there are patents covering ideas designed to prevent typhoons, cyclones, and the like. Patent No. 7,832,657, for example, shows a bunch of long pipes and pumps in the ocean pumping the cooler deep water to the surface to reduce the temperature of the sea surface and thereby weaken a typhoon. Patent No. 7,798,419 has a background section that discusses many different attempts, some patented, some not, to defeat cyclones. The idea disclosed in this patent is to pump several hundred thousand or even millions of tons of seawater up into the eye of a cyclone to destroy the storm.

Some people are not content with just changing some weather. They want to control it all. Patent No. 5,762,298, proposes a satellite weather modification system. From what I can gather, satellites are used to reflect sunlight to locations that don’t usually receive much and to convert solar energy into “energy beams.”

If you’d like to research additional weather control patents and pending patent applications, check out the U.S.P.T.O. classification 239 and sub-classifications 2.1 and 14.1 titled “weather control.”

Copyright © 2012 by ASME
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