LIDAR campaign at Lista

In mid-November 2020, PhD student Jan Markus Diezel started measuring the speed of the wind over Lista Airport based on LIDAR measurements. LIDAR is basically the same technology that self-driving cars use to interact with their surroundings. On Lista, on the other hand, the LIDAR uses laser beams to measure the speed of the wind.


Inspection of the LIDAR-device: Here Manoj Mandru (to left) inspects the LIDAR-device together with Jan Markus Diezel, who is a PhD student from the University of Bergen. Manoj Mandru is an engineer in aerodynamics, design and construction of kites. His place of work is at Kitemill's branch office at Lista.

The project is Jan Markus' doctoral thesis, which is done in collaboration with Kitemill.

The measurements will last for eleven months. Diezel will work a lot on Lista in the start-up phase, after which he will monitor the measurements digitally from his place of study in Bergen.

Up to height of 2000 meter

- The main goal of my research project is to deliver a characterization of the atmospheric boundary layer with a focus on research questions related to airborne wind energy systems in cooperation with Kitemill. For this purpose, existing wind measurement data will be analyzed and compared to model results. Additionally, a measurement campaign will be carried out using a LIDAR to measure the wind up to a height of 2000 meter and a microwave radiometer to measure the temperature profile, says Jan Markus Diezel.


A snapshot of the wind velocity measurement during November 2020.

Optimize the controlling of the kite

He points out that the unique value of this measurement campaign is that test flights will be carried out by Kitemill at the same location in parallel to the Lidar measurements, which allows an estimation of the power generation of airborne wind energy systems as a function of the measured wind profile. These findings can then be used to optimize the algorithms controlling the kites.

Came to Norway just before lock down in March

Jan Markus Diezel comes from Nürnberg in Germany. He is 27 years old. In his studies in Germany, he was fascinated by Airborne Wind Energy and came in contact with Kitemill in Norway through Kitemill’s cooperation with the University in Bergen. The university invited Kitemill in as a partner in the LIKE EU project where Jan Markus PhD is one of the activities. Early in March 2020, Jan Markus Diezel came to Bergen to start his doctoral studies.

-This was right before the Covid 19 Lock Down, so there were some challenges in the start-up phase with home office and digital contact instead of physical meetings. But all in all, it has gone well. Now the LIDAR system is in place on Lista and I am looking at what results we will get, says Jan Markus Diezel.

Continuous operation

- The goal of this research project is to investigate the value of Lidar measurements for wind resource analyses and as a tool during continuous operation of airborne wind energy systems. This campaign will also allow to quantify the potential of on-site LIDAR measurements in improving airborne wind energy power production, e.g. compared to an operation that is only based on the results of numerical weather prediction on different forecast times, says Jan Markus Diezel.

-In parallel to Kitemill’s EU project AWE is Kitemill an industrial participant the LIKE project, says Thomas Hårklau, CEO of Kitemill.

-We are very happy to have Jan Markus with this expertise and equipment. We expect to benefit of the Lidar measurement in qualifying our technology during the coming year. We also believe LIDARs will become a useful application in the field of AWE.

Lidar Knowledge Europe (LIKE) fosters training and education of young researchers on emerging laser-based wind measurement technologies and its translation into industrial applications. Doppler Lidars (light detection and ranging) that measured the wind in the atmosphere remotely have reduced in price and increased reliability over the last decade mainly driven by European universities and companies serving the growing wind energy industry. This opens the possibility for new applications in many areas.

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