This conceptual airborne structure is designed to absorb moisture from clouds and transport it to arid regions where it would be released as artificial rain to combat future environmental disasters.
Cloud Capture is a proposal developed by South Korean architects Taehan Kim, Seoung Ji Lee and Yujin Ha for the eVolo Skyscraper Competition, an annual award recognising innovative ideas for tall buildings.
The concept is intended to combat the increasing threat from droughts and floods occurring as a consequence of climate change by balancing out the distribution of moisture across the planet.
"Since rain comes from clouds, to balance precipitation we need to redistribute the clouds," said the architects in their project description. "So, if we balance the distribution of clouds, the precipitation can also be balanced and this balance would bring the earth's overall stability."
The soaring balloon-like structure would would seek out clouds, particularly over the oceans in equatorial regions with high humidity.
Once a cloud is detected, the structure's shape-shifting mechanical ribs would open to form a large void containing a net for capturing the moisture particles on its fine mesh surface.
The net would be made from a hydrophilic material, formed of molecules that can draw water out of the air.
The vapour would transform into water inside the net and be funnelled down into a suspended tank, thanks to a hydrophobic material that sheds liquid.
The device would then float on the wind towards its destination – an area such as a desert or a city affected by dust or pollution.
When Cloud Capture reaches its target, a series of sprinkler hoses hanging from its base would distribute the liquid as precipitation.
The project was awarded an Honourable Mention in eVolo's 2015 Skyscraper Competition, which was won by a design for a building containing swamps, mountains, glaciers and a jungle.