MeteoSwiss inaugurates innovative Lidar measuring system

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Source: World Health Organization (WHO)

A Light Detection and Ranging (Lidar) weather measurement system was officially launched at the MeteoSwiss weather forecasting headquarters in Payerne, yesterday.

The high-tech instrument is the only one of its kind in the world able to provide continuous data on the vertical distribution of humidity in the atmosphere up to an altitude of 10 km. It works by firing a laser beam vertically into the sky 30 times a second, then measuring the “echo” (light reflected back from different layers in the atmosphere) to build instantaneous vertical profiles of humidity.

The Lidar project is the result of 20 years’ research and development at the Federal Institute of Technology, Lausanne, in collaboration with MeteoSwiss, funded partly by the Swiss National Science Foundation. It will play an important role in the evaluation of global warming.

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