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  • Alerting Building-Induced Turbulence at the Airport

  • Friday, 2nd August 2019

The Observatory’s Windshear and Turbulence Warning System (WTWS) has been serving the Hong Kong International Airport since 1998, assuring the safety of aircraft during landing and take-off. The WTWS integrates information from various instruments including Terminal Doppler Weather Radars, long-range Doppler LIDARs, wind profilers, automatic weather stations and weather buoys to provide automatic alerts of windshear and turbulence due to terrain, sea breeze or thunderstorms.

With the continuous development of the airport, the possibility of turbulence arising from buildings near the runway has gained attention. To address this issue, the Observatory has been actively developing alerting technology based on the short-range LIDAR (SRL) in recent years, and installed a unit of SRL close to the North Runway. With its finer and more frequent scans, the SRL can help capture turbulence features, which are of smaller spatial and temporal scales, induced by buildings nearby.

The SRL has commenced operation since late July this year as an enhancement of the WTWS. The Observatory will continue to enhance its services and assure aviation safety through innovation and technology.

Figure 1
The short-range LIDAR installed by the Observatory close to the North Runway of the Hong Kong International Airport.