3D Atmospheric Tomography

A tomographic method for the 3D profiling of atmospheric conditions in an area.

A tomographic method for the 3D profiling of atmospheric conditions.


BACKGROUND Atmospheric conditions are a crucial consideration when undertaking development activities in an area. To determine temperature, wind velocity and direction, ‘linear’ methodssuch as radar, lidar or sodar are used. In each of these, atmospheric conditions are calculated at particular points within an area and the values are extrapolated to cover the region. Such methods however, are incapable of accurately producing a detailed 3D model of atmospheric conditions. TECHNOLOGY 3D atmospheric tomography uses acoustic technology alongside drones to produce an accurate and detailed 3D reconstruction of windflows and temperature in an area. An array of sensors placed in the area reflect the sound or electromagnetic frequencies emitted by a drone. The reflections are used to reconstruct the speed and direction of wind, and temperature changes within the area.

Key Benefits

• Delivers accurate 3D reconstruction and detailed analysis of atmospheric conditions • Capability to cover areas as large as 1 kilometre cubed • Potential applications for optimising land use in agriculture and energy • Can reduce safety risks at airports


This technology has significant potential in the energy, agriculture and aviation industries, for example: • to optimise positioning of wind turbines, photovoltaic (PV) or solar thermal (ST) systems in energy farms • to position frost fans, or plant the right types of grape vines in particular areas of vineyards • to provide a better understanding of microscale atmospheric changes in almond, citrus and grain farms

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