Ultrasonic wind sensors for the DWD's maritime monitoring network come from Lufft

In meteorology, the DWD - Germany's largest weather service - is considered a major reference with the most exacting standards.

In a call for bids for the renewal and extension of ultrasonic wind sensors in the maritime monitoring network of the German Weather Service, the ultrasonic wind sensor Ventus from the Fellbach-based manufacturer of environmental measuring equipment won the day against all competitive products.

In meteorology, the DWD - Germany's largest weather service - is considered a major reference with the most exacting standards. The authority operates the largest national monitoring network in Germany. It consists of primary, secondary, and maritime systems that regularly deliver accurate weather data.

In the recently published tender document, the DWD called for new wind sensors to replace the old equipment and to extend the existing monitoring network in maritime use. The maritime monitoring network includes weather stations on DWD research vessels as well as on commercial and government vessels. The measurement data obtained from the maritime monitoring network are of great importance for the calculation of current forecasts.

The weather service took the decision with the aid of a large number of very strict exclusion criteria. Only a few companies in the world are able to meet these criteria with their products and were therefore short-listed for the tender.
Among other requirements, the ultrasonic anemometers had to be very robust and have a closed system. "Since the sensors are used exclusively in the maritime sector, they must be particularly well protected against extreme weather conditions and bird attacks. The Ventus ultrasonic wind sensor consists of a seawater-resistant aluminum alloy, which is also used on ship propellers. The sensor therefore withstands the corrosive conditions without any problem. In addition, thanks to its enclosed design the sensor has already proved itself many times over with regard to bird attacks, whereas each year a large proportion of the open measuring systems from other manufacturers fail for this reason and give rise to correspondingly high repair costs. Therefore, in its tender specifications the DWD demanded a closed system", says Udo Kronmüller, sales representative for the wind and weather segment. Technical problems caused by animals such as bird attacks are not uncommon in environmental equipment.

Therefore, Lufft GmbH decided on a closed system for measuring wind speed and wind direction at an early stage. This makes it almost impossible for birds to damage the sensor.

Since the advantages of this design inevitably lead to the impairment of measurement uncertainty, detailed minimum standards were required for wind speed and wind direction. In order to test these and other requirements, specific tests were conducted in the DWD wind tunnel. 

Winning this tender is the second success that the measuring and control technology company Lufft has chalked up with the German Weather Service within a very short period of time. Earlier, the DWD had already opted for the cloud ceilometer from the Fellbach-based company. 

G. Lufft GmbH

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