Vaisala helps us to travel safely with accurate weather forecasting and modelling

16.8.2021

Vaisala has a perfect solution for observing and analysing weather conditions at airports for safer air travel and operations. Vaisala Lidar Ceilometer CL61 is a laser-based atmospheric measurement device, which enables high accuracy and precision in weather forecasting.

Many of us have dreamt about travelling, but travel bans have spoiled those desires.

Flying is a popular mode of transportation, especially when you want to reach far away destinations safely. There are many safety matters around air travelling and most of those are not visible to us, for example constant aircraft inspections and maintenance, air traffic controllers assisted by flight and weather radars as well as weather observation and forecasting systems, to mention few.

An investment in safety – state-of-the-art Vaisala Lidar Ceilometer CL61

Vaisala has a perfect solution for observing and analysing weather conditions at airports for safer air travel and operations. Vaisala Lidar Ceilometer CL61 is a laser-based atmospheric measurement device, which enables high accuracy and precision in weather forecasting.

“CL61 challenges the existing ceilometers, which are mainly used to determine the height of a cloud ceiling or cloud base”, says Reijo Roininen, Product Manager at Vaisala. “CL61 gathers and analysis scattered light from the atmosphere with two polarization channels and calculates the depolarization ratio for these signals. With the depolarisation technique used in CL61, it enables more in-depth analyses of particles detected in the atmosphere which is used for weather forecasting.”

Vaisala Lidar Ceilometer CL61 is used mainly for cloud structure analysis, but it can be expanded into detecting and analysing other particles such as pollen, volcanic ash, and dust. For efficient measuring and forecasting, it is recommended to install series of three CL61s in a row approximately 20 kilometres apart from each other and parallel to typical approaching weather fronts.

“We have been discussing these kinds of setups with several customers to cover the airport approach and take-off area,” clarifies Reijo. “For airports, it is highly important to have advance information about approaching weather fronts for safe operations at and around the airport.”

Vaisala Lidar Ceilometer CL61 is highly complex to build

Vaisala Lidar Ceilometer CL61 is a brand new product introduced to the market in 2021. All ceilometers, including CL61, are assembled at Vaisala’s Vantaa factory in Finland, where the company’s headquarters and R&D centre are located.

CL61 belongs among the most complex products in Vaisala’s portfolio. It includes many different components from different categories e.g., electronics, optics and fine mechanics. Due to the complexity of the product, early supplier involvement in the design and detailed manufacturability feedback have been extremely important.

“We have a long relationship with Scanfil and they are a trusted partner who we involve already in the design phase,” says Heikki Leppilampi, Sourcing Project Manager at Vaisala. “Together with Scanfil, we have been able to design an excellent product, secure the manufacturability and cost. In addition, our partnership has played an important part in the successful launch of CL61 to the market.”

After the design phase, Scanfil has manufactured components for Lidar’s volume production at its Sievi and Pärnu factories: Sievi mechanics and Pärnu electronics. CL61 is an excellent example of seamless collaboration with the customer and multiple Scanfil sites.