A CFD technique for estimating the flow distortion effects on LiDAR measurements when made in complex flow fields

Stickland, Matthew and Fabre, Sylvie and Scanlon, Thomas and Oldroyd, Andrew and Mikkelsen, Torben and Astrup, P. (2013) A CFD technique for estimating the flow distortion effects on LiDAR measurements when made in complex flow fields. Engineering Applications of Computational Fluid Mechanics, 7 (3). pp. 324-334. ISSN 1994-2060

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    Abstract

    The effect of flow distortion on the measurements produced by a LiDAR or SoDAR in close proximity to either complex terrain or a structure creating localised flow distortion is difficult to determine by analytical means. Also, as LiDARs and SoDARs are not point measurement devices, the techniques they employ for velocity measurements leads to complexities in the estimation of the effect of flow distortion on the accuracy of the measurements they make. This paper presents a method by which the effect of flow distortion on measurements made by a LiDAR in a distorted flow field may be determined using computational fluid dynamics. The results show that the error created by the flow distortion will cause the vector measured by a LiDAR to differ significantly from an equivalent point measurement. However, the results of the simulation show that, if the LiDAR is being used to measure the undisturbed flow field above a structure which creates highly localised flow distortion, the LiDAR results are less affected by the distortion of the local flow field than data acquired by a point measurement technique such as a cup anemometer.