History of Hail Suppression Systems:
While the history of the Hail Cannon dates back to the 18th century, the modern Hail Cannon has been developed drastically over the last 10 years.
The Hail Cannons of the 18th century were manually operated using different mixtures of gun powder hand loaded into a pot at the bottom of a large cone and then hand lit. This would cause an explosion at the bottom of the cone sending a shockwave up into the clouds. After each charge was fired a new mixture of powder would be loaded into the pot and the cycle would continue throughout the storm. The farmers would volunteer for different shifts operating the Hail Cannons. This was a tedious process especially considering it was performed during storms. The community would have numerous Hail Cannons to make up for the long reloading process.
Modern Hail Cannons today have replaced gun powder by igniting different types of gas mixtures in a chamber at the bottom of a cone to create shockwaves. The modern Hail Cannon can fire every 4 seconds for the duration of the storm. This is an automated process once the Hail Cannon is turned on. Modern Hail Cannons also have the capability to be turned on remotely by radio, cell phone, pager and internet. Some farmers have installed Doppler Radar Systems that actually turn on the Hail Cannons in the area when a storm is approaching. This is a far cry from the hand lit Hail Cannons of the 18th century.