Optical Scientific Inc. (OSi)

- Model OWV-300 - Optical Wind & Visibility Sensor



OSi’s Optical Wind and Visibility sensor (OWV) is a breakthrough in measuring turbulence, large body air / wind movement and atmospheric visibility over a long path (50 to 200 meters) – all in a single, low cost sensor.  The sensor operates on a combination of long path optical extinction and optical scintillation. All the electronics are housed in the OWV with a folded path being established by placing a corner cube reflector down-range at the desired distance.


Besides measuring RVR / visibility, the OWV can distinguish between different causes of visibility impairments such as fog and haze versus dust or smoke.  The OWV uses our long-proven Digital Signal Processor (DSP) engine, which is at the core of every OSi optical sensor. The technology behind it was derived from our renowned Long-baseline Optical Anemometer (LOA-005TM) which was developed to measure cross-wind and turbulence over paths up to 10km or longer.

The OWV uses a corner cube reflector to “fold” the path, this has significant advantages over a double ended technology: it offers twice the signal to noise ratio, reduces siting to a single installation, and eliminates pointing and alignment issues.

As a further benefit, the OWV can also be configured for use at airports as a wake vortex detection system. This has been extensively field tested in this application as part of NASA’s Airspace Systems Program. This makes the OWV an incredibly versatile sensor that can be applied to many different applications in environments as diverse as airports, petrochemical plants (for fence-line monitoring) and across rivers and inlets.

Communications are simple. The user can choose between two basic serial communications protocols: RS-232 or RS-485. The user can connect directly or through network via Ethernet.

Corner cube reflectors (retroreflectors) return light beams precisely back along the incoming axis, no matter the direction from which they arrive.

No other sensor can provide so much capability for a fraction of the cost of even a simple transmissometer. The OWV delivers much more, with adaptability to a very wide range of applications.

  • Delivers transmissometer performance without the high cost of a transmissometer
  • Able to differentiate between fog / haze and dust / smoke
  • Provides 1D / 2D or 3D wind movement data as well as turbulence (CN2) strength
  • Can be used in Wake Vortex detection systems
  • Long-term reliability: operates unattended 24 / 7 / 365
  • Low maintenance
  • Rugged, all-weather design: designed for harsh conditions
  • Easy installation
  • Self diagnostics & Testing: continuously monitors performance & informs user of trouble

OWV-300TM Specifications

Performance Specification

  • Path Averaged Cross Winds: 0.1 m/s to 60 m/s
  • Visibility Dynamic Range: 100 to 10,000 meters (0.07 to 7 miles)
  • Visibility Accuracy: 10%  (Able to separate fog/haze and particulates/smoke)
  • Principle of operation: Combination; scintillation and long-path optical extinction
  • Turbulence / CN2 Range: 1.0 x10-18  to 9.99 x10-10
  • Measurement Technique: Optical forward scatter

Electronic Specification:

Power Requirements

  • Factory selectable, 100/115/220/230 VAC, 50/60 Hz @ 50 VA
  • 10-24 VDC optional, 50 VA nominal
  • Fusing : User-supplied 1.0 A slow blow (AC)
  • Signal Output : RS-232 / RS 485 ASCII, Ethernet option
  • Transient Protection : All power & signal cables protected

Environmental Specification

  • Temperature : -40° to 122° F (-40° to 50° C)
  • Humidity : 0-100%
  • Precipitation / Dust: NEMA 4 type protection

Physical Specification

  • Optical Transceiver Head Size: 20 x 7 x 10 inches
  • Optical Transceiver Head Weight: 10 lbs.
  • Retro-reflector Housing Size: 8 x 8 x 10 inches
  • Retro-reflector Housing Weight: 5 lbs.
  • Head – Reflector Separation: 50 to 200 meters

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