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Coastal Wind Profilers

Left: Radar with radio acoustic sounding system in Astoria, Oregon. Right: Radar wind profiler sites along the U.S. west coast.
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We operate three wind profiling radars installed on the Washington and Oregon coasts since late 2015. These systems operate at a frequency of 449 MHz and provide mean wind profiles to a height of roughly 8 km, with the maximum measurement height depending on time-varying atmospheric conditions. This is roughly half the depth of the troposphere at these latitudes. Each system is also equipped with a radio acoustic sounding system (RASS), which provides a measure of the temperature profile to heights of approximately 2 km (depending on atmospheric conditions).

Data from these systems support U.S. Department of Energy studies to improve wind energy forecasts, such as Wind Forecast Improvement Project 2. In addition, the data are being fed to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA's) National Weather Service forecast models. The three profilers will be complemented by four identical profilers that are being installed by NOAA along the California coast for the California Department of Water resources. Spaced approximately 250 km apart, the profilers together provide a "picket fence" of wind profiles that are expected to significantly improve wind forecasts as far east as the central United States.

For more information about our Coastal Wind Profilers, see the A2e website.

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