Applied research institutes ECN, KNMI, MARIN, WUR and NLR are going to cooperate in ‘Windscanner.nl’. The main goal of Windscanner.nl, an initiative of ECN is to share new and costly wind measurement equipment, to exchange experiences and to develop new measurement techniques. The innovative Scanning LiDAR laser (Light Detection and Ranging) will enable the institutes to give a new boost to their applied research and thus strengthen their societal impact.
The way wind behaves is important to numerous sectors. They include energy generation using wind turbines, aviation, shipping and for research regarding pollution reduction. The Scanning LiDAR allows the remote measuring of wind speeds at distances from a few hundred metres to a few kilometres. Special scanning techniques enable control of the laser beam so as to measure wind over a range of a few kilometres and in a 360° perspective. This produces a far more accurate picture of the speed, direction and turbulence of the wind compared with the computing methods used to date. Thanks to infrared technology, it is also possible to improve the recording of the behaviour of particles carried along with the wind, such as particulate matter and volcanic ash.
NLR is participating in Windscanner.nl because of the contribution it can make to increasing flight safety and to mitigating the environmental impact of aviation. The reliable measurement of such matters as crosswind and turbulence can enhance the safety of air traffic during takeoff and landing. The Scanning LiDAR is also usable for such purposes as detecting volcanic ash particles, thus providing pilots with important information. Wind further influences the dispersal of aircraft noise, so there is a possibility to obtain a better picture of the residential areas around airports that are likely to be exposed to a greater or lesser amount of aircraft noise. Finally, LiDAR can provide an insight into the flying altitude where noise dispersal will be weakest.
The Scanning LiDAR was purchased by ECN. The purchase stems from the ambitions of the TO2 organisations (applied research) to step up their cooperation with each other and manage certain facilities jointly so as to reduce research costs. Within Windscanner.nl, the research institutes can optimise the use made of the means at their disposal in order to deliver better service to their respective markets.