Using Wind Lidar to Catch a Breeze Across the Lagoon

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During summer field projects, undergraduate students in the Department of Ocean and Engineering Sciences (DOES) participated in a project to measure the wind acceleration across the lagoon. To accomplish this, the winds were recorded at three different locations. At the beach, the students mounted a hand held Kestrel (weather sensor) on top of a 10 meter pole, while at the same time other students deployed a vertically pointing wind lidar at the Lagoon House. They then placed a wind sensor on an FIT pontoon boat and crossed the Indian River Lagoon between the beach and Lagoon House! The wind lidar actually measures winds at multiple levels, up to 300 meters above the ground, and its measurements were used to estimate the impact of the waves on the low level wind speed. Because the wind lidar also measures up and down motion – students were able to measure the strength of the lift along the dune crest as well as along the escarpment at the western edge of the lagoon. Students prepared reports, posters and presented their results from the summer field work at a DOES Symposium.

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