Will A Remote-Controlled Artificial Cloud Cool Qatar’s World Cup?

  • Glenn Davis

About as soon as FIFA awarded the 2022 World Cup to the tiny Middle Eastern nation of Qatar, snubbing the U.S. in the process, it was almost immediately faced with accusations of corruption (or corruption mixed with cluelessness).

But for all the speculation about palm-greasing, and as much as we would have liked to see one of the world’s greatest sporting spectacles back on American soil, if having the tournament in Qatar really leads to technological innovations like the one we heard about today, we’re not sure we can keep complaining much. That’s because, in an attempt to control the region’s sweltering temperatures for the tournament, a remote-controlled artificial cloud is under development. Let’s just repeat that for emphasis: remote-controlled artificial cloud. Behold:

Yes, the man-made cloud-like device is just hanging there, hovering. How, pray tell, does it (theoretically) do it? From Who Ate All The Pies:

[T]he cloud is positioned by remote control, made of 100% light carbonic materials, filled with helium, fuelled by four solar-powered engines (I imagine there’s a lot of that knocking about in Qatar) and it’s [sic] primary function will be to hover above the various stadiums in order to ‘filter both direct and indirect UV rays, as well as controlling temperatures at pitch level’ – all at a cost of around $500,000.

Truth be told, the $500,000 figure looks impressively low to us, considering technology of this magnitude. And while something like this being necessary at all doesn’t speak well to the feasibility of the “World Cup in Qatar” idea, if devices like this are up and functioning when the matches begin, consider us duly impressed. Then again, we’re talking about an event 11 years from now, so who knows – these things might be old hat by then.