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Biral visibility sensors to be integrated with Canadian wind turbines

Meteorological specialist Biral has been contracted to install its visibility and present weather sensors on top of wind turbines in Canada, enabling the aviation warning lights to be automatically dimmed in clear conditions.

The technology will be installed on Mont Sainte-Marguerite (MSM) wind farm in Quebec. It has been in use across much of Europe for many years as it greatly reduces the environmental impact of light pollution from the warning lights on nearby residents.

The aviation warning lights have to be very bright so that they can be seen by aircraft from several miles away. However, in very clear atmospheric conditions (no low cloud, no fog or rain) these lights can have their brightness reduced, down to as little as 10% output, without compromising their effectiveness. Conversely, in foggy or poor-visibility conditions, the brightness can be turned up to the maximum output.

The Biral VPF and SWS sensors are mounted on the top of the turbines and monitor the atmospheric conditions in real time. The Biral VPF sensors use forward scatter meter (FSM) technology to calculate the meteorological optical range (MOR), making them highly durable and reliable.

The SWS sensor series shares much of the same technology used in the VPF range but boasts a powder-coated, all-metal enclosure. All SWS series visibility and present weather sensors meet ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) and WMO (World Meteorological Organization) requirements for use in national meteorological networks as well as aviation applications.

- March 2018

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