Aviation sector appreciates Leonardo’s lidar-based technology for advanced weather forecasting

09 March 2023 14:12

Two years after the launch of the company's doppler lidar system SKIRON3D, the market acceptance of the company’s new flagship shows an extremely positive development.

Following the introduction, in late 2020, of the new generation doppler lidar system SKIRON3D for highly reliable and advanced weather forecasts, at Airspace World event Leonardo announces the supply, through its subsidiary LEONARDO Germany GmbH, of seven SKIRON3D systems to four top-ranking airports in Asia and Europe. Monitoring wind conditions, SKIRON3D provides data on critical and potentially dangerous situations for air traffic, such as storms, wind shears, gusts and turbulence including wake vortex generated by the aircraft wingtips when taking off and landing.

In Asia, Leonardo will supply four lidar systems including Leonardo’s proprietary data processing software Rainbow 5 to the Hong Kong Observatory (HKO), thanks to its partner Chinney Alliance Engineering LTD LTD who have been commissioned many CNS systems at the Hong Kong International Airport..The project is designed to improve detection against wind shear, a hazardous weather phenomenon, in the approach and departure corridors under non-rainy conditions. Two SKIRON3D will replace the existing third-party systems. The other two SKIRON3D will cover the airport’s third runway. Delivery of the first batch of two lidars is scheduled for January 2024, followed by the delivery of the other two systems in January 2025.

In addition, two other prestigious airports in Asia - one of which is considered to be one of the most important central hubs for vacationers in the region - have ordered SKIRON3D systems. In both projects, the focus is on wind shear detection. One project comprises the supply of one SKIRON3D including the proprietary software Rainbow 5, the integration of data from an existing weather radar and an LLWAS system. The lidar will be fully operational by October 2023 and will cover both runways of the airport.
In Europe, Leonardo secured a contract from Koninklijk Nederlands Meteorologisch Instituut (KNMI) to supply one SKIRON3D to Amsterdam Schiphol airport, one of the top-ranking and busiest in the continent. KNMI will initially deploy the SKIRON3D lidar system including Rainbow 5 data processing in a two-year test phase. The system will be installed on a trailer to cover different locations at the airport. The objective is to provide air traffic control with improved meteorological information with a specific focus on the detection of wind shear during approach and departure and the detection of wake vortex. After the test phase, the intention is to transfer SKIRON3D into operational use in order to optimize processes at the airport in the long term. SKIRON3D is now being tested in a setting at the Ruisdael Observatory at Cabauw and is expected to be fully operational at Schiphol Airport in the third quarter of 2023.

LEONARDO Germany GmbH, a Leonardo subsidiary, is a worldwide leader in the design, manufacture, sales and service of weather radar systems, sensors and system solutions for meteorology, hydrology and aviation. With the introduction of proprietary doppler lidar system SKIRON3D®, the company had further enhanced his outstanding meteorological portfolio. LEONARDO Germany GmbH focuses on providing customized system and turnkey solutions that reflect a deep concern for the individual customer.