Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Doppler radar is routinely used to detect weather conditions, especially rain clouds, around a horizontally rotating beacon. Unfortunately, the most reliable means of adding the third dimension--vertical--to determine the height of cloud formations and weather conditions at different altitudes, remains the weather balloon. Researchers at the Ecole Polytechnique Fdrale de Lausanne (EPFL, Switzerland) claim to have made the weather balloon obsolete with a vertically projecting lidar (light detection and ranging) system that scans the sky instantaneously up to 10 kilometers (6.2 miles). What is claimed as the world''s first installation of a 3-D lidar-based weather-forecasting measurement system was inaugurated this week (Aug. 26) by the Swiss National Science Foundation and MeteoSwiss, Switzerland''s national weather service (Payerne).
Posted by R. Colin Johnson at 5:25 PM