Windvisions - an airport Wind and Visibility Monitoring System for critical weather conditions in a changing climate (HSMS01)

The objective of this project was to develop a Wind and Visibility Monitoring System (WindVisions) at Mainport Schiphol. The system consists of a vertically scanning remote sensing instrument, a so-called light or sound detecting and ranging instrument (LIDAR or SODAR), complemented by a horizontal long range wind sensor, a so-called cross-wind scintillometer. The area of interest to monitor is the landing and take-off course of airplanes ranging from the surface to about 300m height along the runway. The operations at Mainport Schiphol are in particular sensitive to the local wind field and visibility. Given the current and anticipated climate change this sensitivity to local weather will increase, as extreme weather events are expected to occur more frequently and with increased intensity.

The operations at Airport Schiphol are highly sensitive to a number of critical weather parameters, notably precipitation, the local wind field and visibility. For safe and efficient airport operations under the conditions of a changing climate, routine monitoring and prediction of these critical weather parameters is essential.

This publication reports on Phase 1 of WindVisions, which is characterized by the development and testing of the system. The main results from WindVisions Phase 1 were the development and testing of innovative cross-wind algorithms (calculation methods) for a single aperture scintillometer (SA-LAS). A field experiment was conducted at the Haarweg Meteorological Station in Wageningen, the Netherlands. All three algorithms obtained similar results for the scintillometer crosswind compared with a sonic anemometer, which was used as a reference. However, we conclude that the CS algorithm is best qualified to obtain crosswinds. First, because it is the algorithm with the best fit and lowest scatter in comparison to the sonic anemometer. Second, the results based on power spectra using Wavelets indicated that this method is well suited to obtain the crosswind over 1 second. The results of this study have been submitted the Journal of Atmospheric and Ocean Technology.

Furthermore Phase 1 comprised testing of SFAS64 mini-SODAR of Scintec AG at the KNMI meteorological observatory of Cabauw. The experiment at Cabauw revealed that the SODAR wind field measurements are comparable to those of the tower measurements. However, at some measurement heights (80 m) the agreement with the tower is better than at other levels. In general the horizontal wind speed seems to be overestimated at greater heights (140 and 200 m). The wind direction compared very well to that of the tower. However, some scatter occurred in the wind direction measured by the SODAR for low wind speed. For the application for WindVisions this will not cause a problem, since low wind speeds do not introduce a safety risk for aircrafts landing or taking off. Overall the SFAS64 SODAR performed well enough to proceed with this instrument as part of WindVisions.

Phase 2 of WindVisions was geared towards the operational implementation of the system at Schiphol Airport. The Phase 2 report is only available in Dutch.


Final Project Report: Windvisions - an airport Wind and Visibility Monitoring System (first phase)

This document reports on Phase 1 of WindVisions, which is characterized by the development and testing of the system.