12th Conference on Aviation Range and Aerospace Meteorology


Evaluation of Pulsed Lidar Wind Hazard Detection at Las Vegas International Airport

Christopher Keohan, FAA, Oklahoma City, OK; and K. Barr and S. M. Hannon

Terminal Doppler Weather Radar (TDWR) is deficient in detecting dry wind shear as observed in the western U.S. (e.g., DEN, SLC, LAS, and PHX). For example, the SLC TDWR has a wind shear loss detection rate of 0.81 and false alarm rate of 0.14 for convective conditions, which is under par for meeting the TDWR wind shear loss specifications. In addition, gust fronts are detected less than 50% of the time at SLC. Detection of gust fronts is essential to air traffic operations in that most reported go-arounds are due to unexpected gust front gains on approach. A supplemental wind shear detection system is necessary to achieve the desired wind shear performance at the western sites, and pulsed Doppler lidar, operating at an infrared wavelength, offers this possibility. Moreover, owing to its superb dry air capability, lidar offers the potential for additional benefits that extend beyond convective wind shear phenomena to include terrain-induced wind shears, low-level jets, mountain waves and inversion wind shears. These non-convective wind shear phenomena are not included in the above statistics. This paper summarizes the results of an August-September 2005 evaluation at McCarran International Airport of a commercial pulsed Doppler lidar known as the WindTracer. Performance will be summarized, including comparison with TDWR and other available weather information.

extended abstract  Extended Abstract (1.6M)

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Session 6, Current Issues and Topics in Aviation Weather
Tuesday, 31 January 2006, 1:45 PM-5:30 PM, A301

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