Irish LIDAR network

LIDAR description

Two Doppler wind lidars (Light Detection and Ranging) of the type WindCube 200S from Leosphere have been funded by the Irish Aviation Authority. The WindCube emits at 1.54 µm and measures the intensity of backscattered light as well as the Doppler shift of the detected radiation. From the deviation of the detected wavelength from the emitted one, profiles of the radial wind can be determined. Subsequently, the radial wind is converted into profiles of the three wind components. The wind measurements depend on the presence of scatterers in form of cloud droplets or aerosol particles. The lidar therefore is also suited for the detection of aerosol layers, like volcanic ash plumes. A great advantage compared to conventional lidars is, that the WindCube is a scanning lidar. Therefore it does not only produce one vertical profile at a time, but can also be used to monitor the horizontal distribution of aerosols and clouds.

The first lidar was set up for automatic 24/7 operation at Mace Head on the west coast of Ireland in the end of December 2014. The second will be delivered in April 2015 and will be installed at Dublin airport. The WindCube at Mace Head is co-located with a ceilometer measuring at 1064 nm. This combination of instruments enables an even better observation of aerosol plumes, as shorter wavelengths interact stronger with smaller particles. Example data are given below:
Carrier-to-noise ratio (CNR) at line-of-sight measurement pointing to zenith.
        Carrier-to-noise ratio (CNR) at line-of-sight measurement pointing to zenith.
      Vertical wind speed (radial wind at line-of-sight measurement pointing to zenith). positive = downdrafts; negative = updrafts
      Carrier-to-noise ratio (CNR): vertical scans of one hour.

Near Real time data availability
The wind and backscatter data of the WindCube will be transferred in near real time and are going to be visible online at:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 A feature mask from the combination of near real time ceilometer and cloud radar data showing boundary layer aerosol, clouds, rain and lofted aerosol layers at Mace Head is currently available and updated every 10 minutes at: