Complementary wind sensing techniques: sodar and RASS
Abstract. Radioacoustic sounding (RASS), normally used for temperature profiling, can also be applied for wind measurements. The RASS detects echoes of radar waves, which have been scattered at acoustic waves, and derives the sound velocity from the frequency shift. From the difference of sound velocities measured under different beam directions windprofiles can be determined. Ground clutter does not principally interfere with RASS echoes due to their big frequency shift. Therefore, RASS can supplement radar wind profilers at lower levels where clear-air echoes may be not detectable due to ground clutter. The upper measuring altitude of RASS is limited to a few thousand radar wavelengths by the sound absorption and by the drift of the focal spot of the RASS echo. A further alternative for low-level wind measurements is the Doppler sodar. It is less sensitive to ground clutter than radar, but the measuring height is also limited by sound absorption. It requires no frequency allocation and may therefore be the only choice at some locations. In Germany, Doppler sodars have been operating successfully on a routine basis for more than 10 years at several sites for environmental monitoring purposes.