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Atmospheric Measurement Techniques An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 17 Jul 2019

Submitted as: research article | 17 Jul 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Atmospheric Measurement Techniques (AMT).

Wind sensing with drone mounted wind lidars: proof of concept

Nikola Vasiljević1, Michael Harris2, Anders Tegtmeier Pedersen1, Gunhild Rolighed Thorsen1, Mark Pitter2, Jane Harris3, Kieran Bajpai3, and Michael Courtney1 Nikola Vasiljević et al.
  • 1Technical University of Denmark – DTU Wind Energy, Frederiksborgvej 399, Building 118-VEA, 4000 Roskilde, Denmark
  • 2ZX Lidars, The Old Barns, Fairoaks Farm, Hollybush, Ledbury HR8 1EU U
  • 3University of Exeter, Department of Physics, UK

Abstract. The fusion of drone and wind lidar technology introduces the exciting possibility of performing high-quality wind measurements virtually anywhere for substantially lower costs than established in-situ and remote sensing techniques. In this paper we will present a proof of concept (POC) drone-lidar system and report results from several test campaigns that demonstrate its ability to measure accurate wind speeds.

The POC system is based on a dual-telescope Continuous Wave (CW) lidar, with drone-borne telescopes and ground-based opto-electronics. Commercially available drone and gimbal units are employed.

The demonstration campaigns started with a series of comparisons of the wind speed measurements acquired by the POC system to simultaneous measurements performed by nearby mast based sensors. Generally very good agreement was found. Subsequently the extent of the flow disturbance caused by the drone downwash was investigated. These tests vindicated the somewhat conservative choice of lidar measurement range made for the initial wind speed comparisons.

Overall, the excellent results obtained without any drone motion correction and with fairly primitive drone position control indicate the potential of drone-lidar systems in terms of accuracy and applications. The next steps in the development are outlined in the paper and several potential applications are discussed.

Nikola Vasiljević et al.
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Status: final response (author comments only)
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Nikola Vasiljević et al.
Nikola Vasiljević et al.
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Publications Copernicus
Short summary
In this paper we present the preliminary results of the proof of concept stage of a drone-based wind lidar system development. To test the POC drone-lidar system we hovered the drone next to mast-mounted sonic anemometers at the Risø test center. The preliminary results of the intercomparison between the measurements derived from the POC system and one of the sonic anemometers show good agreement.
In this paper we present the preliminary results of the proof of concept stage of a drone-based...