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WindTracer© lidar – photo courtesy Lockheed Martin

Boulder Atmospheric Observatory and WindTracer© Lidar Intercomparison

January 22, 2013

The NOAA/ESRL Physical Sciences Division and Lockheed Martin Commercial Ventures are collaborating to compare wind measurements collected on the Boulder Atmospheric Observatory (BAO) 300m tower with the WindTracer© lidar. WindTracer systems have been used worldwide for a decade to detect hazardous winds and aircraft wakes, providing improved flight safety for more than one million flights and also for on-land and offshore wind resource assessment for wind energy. In order to ensure the highest quality comparison possible new cup and vane anemometers were installed at 100, 150, and 200m on both sides of the 300 m research tower. Two Wind Tracer systems will be deployed within approximately 2.1 km of the tower providing a 3-D pattern of the winds centered on the BAO. With sensors on both the NW and SE tower booms, winds through or affected by the tower can be identified. Both the Wind Tracer and BAO will operate continuously beginning early January through mid-March 2013. The BAO measurements will serve a ground truth for the Wind Tracer with the ultimate goal of documenting the accuracy and reliability of the Wind Tracer for use in Wind Energy resource assessment