Nexgen > Sodar > How It Works

How It Works

A Sodar works by sending out a sound pulse (beep) and recording the sound as it’s scattered off atmospheric turbulence back to the Sodar. The principle is very similar to the well known radar technique which transmits a radio wave and records echoes from objects. After the beep is transmitted, the Sodar begins recording the scattered sound to determine the wind speed, direction, inflow angle, and height range:

– The time delay from when the beep was transmitted to when it was received indicates the sampling height, based on the speed of sound.

– Wind speed causes a change in frequency between the transmitted and received sound via the Doppler effect.

– This change in frequency, combined with the known angles of the 3 beams, is interpreted to produce a 3D wind vector.


Relatively simple mathematics then translates this vector into wind speed, direction, and inflow angle in each height bin. More complex analysis allows the wind speed standard deviation and turbulence index to be calculated.

The Fulcrum3D Sodar transmits a sound pulse approximately every 1.5 seconds, giving a large number of samples which are then analysed to generate 10 minute statistics. Various filtering techniques are used to eliminate false data, background noise, errors introduced from rainfall and other factors to provide a clean and accurate 10 minute sample with a known quality factor.

How It Works


The key advantage of wind monitoring using a Fulcrum3D Sodar are:

  • More accurate wind data over the entire turbine area
  • Full data traceability
  • Lower cost, more flexible deployment
  • Reduce maintenance and insurance requirements

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