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LIDAR Atmospheric Wind Detector

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the world's winds could theoretically supply the equivalent of 5,800 quadrillion BTUs (quads) of energy each year, which represents more than 15 times current world energy demand. The potential of wind energy to improve the quality of life is vast. Wind power supplies affordable, inexhaustible energy to the economy. Researchers at Utah State University have developed a LIDAR technology for detecting characteristics of the atmosphere, using a laser transmitter and receiver capable of measuring wind characteristics, specifically, wind speed and direction at numerous and various points, enabling the optimal placement of wind power farms. With the wind energy market continuing to grow at an annual rate of 25%, efficient siting of wind farms becomes increasingly important.
Features and Benefits
  • Energy
  • Meteorology
  • Atmospheric research
  • Object speed and direction sensing
  • Commercial travel
  • Ability to measure wind speeds and directions at different altitudes and locations over a large area, without the expenses of travel and information gathering in remote places
  • Provides information regarding the interrelationships of atmospheric conditions over a large area within short period of time, which increases reliability and relevancy of results
  • Gathers information about the flow or dynamics of fluids or gasses, increasing applicability of the technology
The LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) technology comprises at least one lasing transmitter which transmits at least one lasing beam of radiation in the frequency range of ultraviolet light and which is swept along a path in the atmosphere so as to strike particles in the atmosphere causing backscatter radiation which is received by a receiver for determination of the Doppler shift of the objects being struck. The system is mobile, so that wind speeds and directions at a number of altitudes and over a large area can be measured.
Development Stage
The technology currently has working prototypes, which have been tested and proven to work accurately.
US Patent No. 5,796, 471
Glenn Whichard
Senior Commercialization Associate
Physical Sciences
(435) 797-9604
Reference: W95026