The use of short range LiDAR is becoming a useful sub-section of the Light Detection and Ranging market. Short range LiDAR is useful in making such measurements as wind speed, shear and turbulence over distances less than 300-500m. This makes it extremely useful for measuring airflows over a short time scale, but with higher resolution and greater accuracy. This is important in such applications as wind tunnel profiling, turbulence at airports caused by smaller landscape anomalies such as buildings and optimising wind turbine location and performance, as well as air turbulence in front of a flying aircraft.
In the wind turbine industry, the location of farm placement and indeed individual turbines, is key to maximising the efficiency of power generation. Consequently, measurements are needed that detail the wind characteristics at any point and how they are affected by the local environment, trees, hills etc. On land, this is expensive as high towers are erected with cup-anemometers at various heights, but if this is at sea, site surveying becomes even more difficult. Short range LiDAR systems are small and mobile allowing them to be quickly and easily moved to different sites to assess the optimal positioning. Once in place, the short range LiDAR can be used to optimise the pitch of each turbine blade to maximise the efficiency given the approaching wind conditions.