AXYS Deploys LiDAR at Chesapeake Bay
AXYS Technologies Inc. announced the deployment of one of their WindSentinel Land Stations on a man-made island at the entrance to the Chesapeake Bay as part of a project headed by WeatherFlow Inc.
The project is funded by the Virginia Commonwealth Research Commercialization Fund (CRCF) with the objective, “Developing an Anchored Wind Monitoring and Forecasting System for Offshore Wind Energy.”
The Vindicator III LiDAR, packaged in the WindSentinel Land Station, has already been deployed for a field verification period next to a tall met mast at Stumpy Point, North Carolina. It is now deployed on a small island that is part of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel (CBBT) complex for a period of up to a year to validate and improve WeatherFlow’s wind forecasting models.
“We are very pleased to engage with WeatherFlow in this project to advance offshore wind energy in the Mid-Atlantic region,” said Graham Howe, International Business Development for Renewable Energy at AXYS.
Steve Woll, WeatherFlow Director of Business Development, noted that “WeatherFlow is excited to be able to collaborate with AXYS on this effort. With no measurements currently available in the coastal zone at wind turbine rotor heights, we're looking forward to using the WindSentinel's data to better capture the highly variable features of the coastal wind regime. That understanding will help us improve our forecast model and better characterize the winds at the offshore Wind Energy Areas.”
The Virginia Tech Advanced Research Institute (VT-ARI) is providing third-party validation of the WeatherFlow model by comparing model outputs at different forecast time horizons and locations with the Vindicator III LiDAR measurements and conventional anemometer measurements at the CBBT Third Island and the Chesapeake Light Tower (CLT). Also of interest to VT-ARI researchers are the effect of sea-breeze circulation cells on offshore wind patterns and the occurrence of near-surface jet-like features that preliminary WeatherFlow modeling efforts have forecast at the CLT.
The Vindicator III is a simultaneous pulse LiDAR designed and manufactured by Optical Air Data Systems (OADS) in Manassas, Virginia, which uses three fixed beams to take multi-point measurements. It is enclosed in the WindSentinel Land Station and the entire system is custom configurable with a variety of additional sensors for monitoring wind, weather and other parameters as required.