Conference programme

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Friday, 20 November 2015
09:30 - 11:00 LiDARs replacing meteorological masts
Resource assessment  
Onshore      Offshore    

Room: Montparnasse

Over the last five years the on and offshore wind industries have seen an increase in both acceptance of LiDAR measurements and commercial applications for LiDAR. It is through sharing the results of validation studies that uncertainties can be reduced and the full commercial value of this technology and its wide number of applications can be realized.

Learning objectives

  • Delegates will be able to describe the value of validation of floating against fixed LiDARs and defend why this practice is a suitable alternative to validation against meteorological masts
  • Delegates will be able to explain why LiDAR measurements are at least as good as meteorological mast measurements
  • Delegates will be able to identify two different approaches to using commercial LiDARs to measure turbulence intensity
  • Delegates will be able to explain why different measurement devices have different uncertainties levels
Lead Session Chair:
Breanne Gellatly, Axys, Italy
Mike Harris
ZephIR Lidar, , United Kingdom

Presenter's biography

Biographies are supplied directly by presenters at EWEA 2015 and are published here unedited

Michael Harris has played a pioneering role in the development of lidar for the wind energy industry. He received a Class 1 degree in Physics from Oxford University in 1980; following his PhD in Atomic Physics from the University of Newcastle, he worked at the Joint Institute for Laboratory Astrophysics (JILA), Boulder, Colorado, and at the University of Essex. Until 2008 he was Technical/Team Leader for Remote Sensing at QinetiQ Malvern, and is currently Chief Scientist at ZephIR Lidar, where he continues to develop and promote laser anemometry for use in the wind industry.


Although wind lidars were first developed in the 1970s, these earlier systems were large expensive research tools unsuitable for meeting the demands of the wind industry. This began to change in the late 1990s with the development of the first wind lidar systems based on technology, such as optical fibre, developed during the telecommunications boom. While this new generation of lidars offered more compact and less costly systems, their acceptance by the wind industry was initially quite slow with efforts concentrating on investigating the equivalence of the data to that provided by a traditional met mast. Meanwhile, much effort was invested by lidar manufacturers to increase reliability and reduce costs. In the last five years, lidar has entered the mainstream and achieved wide acceptance within the industry; as users gain confidence, lidar is increasingly finding new contributions beyond the capabilities of traditional anemometry such as upwind look-ahead systems mounted on turbines, wake visualisation, and offshore systems on floating buoys. The pace of development is such that in future it is conceivable lidar will be seen in many applications as the default choice instead of the traditional met mast.

Learning Objectives
• To understand the current range of measurement capabilities of lidar in the wind industry
• To acquire an understanding of the degree of acceptance of lidar in the wind industry
• To be aware of applications in which lidars are likely to be used increasingly in the future