By Valerie Kumer, PhD student at Geophysical Institute, University of Bergen
As wind energy is one of the rising branches in green energy production, lots of effort is put into optimizing the productivity of every single wind turbine and/or wind parks. One key issue is the improvement of our knowledge on the atmospheric boundary layer (ABL), the lowest part of the atmosphere that is distinctly influenced by the Earth’s surface. The increase in turbine size and nacelle height in the recent years makes wind measurements via traditional meteorological masts more and more difficult. In response to that there has been an increase in the use of remote sensing methods, based on light detection and ranging (LIDAR) technology. The determination of wind profiles is not only necessary for wind farm siting but also for power production forecast. Therefore the accuracy of these wind profiles is of uttermost importance. LIDAR wind profilers can measure the wind to altitudes of several hundreds of meters and enable a detailed analysis of the relevant boundary layer processes.