From “feeling” the wind to "seeing“ the wind / Light Detection And Ranging – Doppler Lidar Systems

A Doppler Lidar system transmits laser beams, receives the light backscattered by aerosols such as dust and other particles in the air, and measures the line-of-sight component of wind speed using the Doppler frequency shift of the backscattered light.

Since a Doppler Lidar system can measure the distance between the lidar and particles in the air utilizing the roundtrip time of backscattered light, unlike conventional anemometers, wind direction and speed can be measured remotely.

As opposed to meteorological radar (RAdio Detection And Ranging), which uses microwaves to measure precipitation, Doppler Lidar (LIght Detection And Ranging) can take measurements when there is no precipitation. Furthermore, Doppler Lidar doesn't generate radio noise during measurement because the system transmits and receives laser light only, and measurements are not influenced by surrounding noise.