Tracking Wind

June 21, 2007 A new wind detection system
installed at Tokyo International Airport will provide air traffic
control personnel with improved monitoring of wind activity and advanced
warning of hazards such as low-level wind shear. The WindTracer system
developed by Lockheed Martin is a Doppler LiDAR (light detection and
ranging) system that provides high-resolution wind data and mapping at
a range of up to six nautical miles.

The system scans uses invisible infrared lasers
to monitor the entire field along the glide slope, identifying and
tracking dangerous weather conditions. The system is particularly
effective at providing accurate wind data in clear air conditions and
the lasers are completely safe to human eye, meeting Federal Aviation
Administration (FAA) and International Civil Aviation Organization
(ICAO) requirements for laser operation in the airport terminal area.

WindTracer
is suitable for homeland security and meteorological research as well
as airport applications. “We collaborated with the Kanematsu
Corporation of Japan to introduce WindTracer to the Japan
Meteorological Agency,” said Dr. Stephen Hannon, Products Group
director for Lockheed Martin Coherent Technologies. “We’re proud to
work with Haneda Airport to improve its wind hazard detection and
increase air safety. Lidar is quickly being recognized by the aviation
community as a proven technology that significantly enhances the
ability to detect and alert air traffic controllers to such
meteorological events as wind shear, dry microbursts, gust fronts,
turbulence and crosswinds.”

Tokyo International Airport (known as Haneda
Airport) is one of the main airports serving the greater Tokyo area,
ranking fourth among the world’s largest passenger airports and is the
busiest airport in Asia, handling 65.3 million passengers in 2006.

LiDAR (light detection and ranging) systems have also brought recent improvements to the selection of Windfarm sites.

Wind detection technology improves airport safety – gizmag Article

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