SkyVUE8 LIDAR Ceilometer
SkyVUE™8
8km Ceiling LIDAR Ceilometer

Cloud measurement with state-of-the-art signal processing
weather applications supported water applications supported energy applications supported gas flux & turbulence applications supported infrastructure applications supported soil applications supported

Overview

The SkyVUE™8 LIDAR Ceilometer is ideal for measuring cloud height and vertical visibility at airports, helipads (onshore or offshore), and other meteorological applications. The SkyVUE™8 measures the atmosphere with high stability and repeatibility, providing you with information on cloud height, sky condition (up to five layers), vertical visibility, and raw backscatter profiles. Notably, the ceilometer meets or exceeds all the necessary ICAO, CAA, and WMO requirements and recommendations.

Because of its robust construction, the SkyVUE™8 only requires minimal maintenance and can be continuously used in either static or mobile applications in harsh environments. Its compact design and low weight of 18 kg make it easy to transport and deploy.

With an operational reporting range of 8 km, the SkyVUE™8 has one of the highest in its class. It is easy to use yet features advanced signal processing and unique optics to provide superior resolution and performance.

The SkyVUE™8 has many standard features, from a tilting base and two-axis inclinometer for automatic correction of cloud heights to heaters, blowers, and a sun filter for operation under all conditions—making deployments possible around the world.

Unique standard features include an easy-to-operate stratocumulus calibration, long-life back-up battery, and twin clocks to augment its many continuous diagnostic self-checks and provide assurance of continuous, reliable, and accurate performance.

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Benefits and Features

  • Single lens design for high signal-to-noise ratio, maximized detector sensitivity, resulting in greater performance at low and high altitude.
  • High performance and high specification at a competitive price.
  • Low power consumption with multiple power options.
  • Tilt angles to 24°, improving performance during precipitation events and reducing impact of solar glare.
  • Unique continuous comparison of two separate internal quartz clocks to eliminate possibility of clock drift, ensuring measurement confidence.
  • User-friendly stratocumulus calibration capability and easy test with supplied calibrator plate provided as standard meaning the unit can be calibrated and easily set up in the field.

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Technical Description

The SkyVUE™8 LIDAR ceilometer measures cloud height and vertical visibility for meteorological and aviation applications. Using LIDAR (LIght Detection And Ranging) technology, the ceilometer transmits fast, low-power laser pulses into the atmosphere and detects backscattered returns from clouds and aerosols above the instrument.

A unique, efficient, single-lens design increases optical signal-to-noise ratio and allows for larger optics in a compact package, improving accuracy and measurement performance.

This approach, along with state-of-the-art electronics, provides a powerful and stable platform from which to measure cloud height and vertical visibility to high accuracy. The SkyVUE™8 measures the atmosphere with high stability and repeatability, delivering excellent performance in even the harshest of conditions.

The SkyVUE™8 provides information on cloud height, sky condition (up to five layers), vertical visibility, and raw backscatter profiles to a range of 8 km.

The unique stratocumulus calibration capability, which allows users to calibrate measurements of scatter coefficients, uses a simple and user-friendly field method, giving complete confidence in the scatter profiles reported and removes the requirement to have the unit sent back for calibration. 

Reliable range measurement is further assured by cross-checking two separate internal quartz clocks, eliminating the possibility of unidentified errors due to clock drift.

The SkyVUE™8 can be tilted at various angles up to 24°. A small tilt is important, as it allows the ceilometer to resist high levels of reflection from large raindrops and frozen particles that can impair vertical-type sensors. The tilt also improves rain run-off on the ceilometer window, resulting in a much higher performance compared with vertical ceilometers.

Tilting to 24° also means that it can be operated anywhere in the world without the sun shining into the lens and resulting in missing data. An internal two-axis inclinometer provides automatic correction of cloud height at all angles, ensuring ease of installation and confidence that cloud heights are automatically corrected throughout the lifetime of the installation.

The SkyVUE™8 complies with ICAO, CAA, and WMO guidance and meets or exceeds all recommendations and specifications. (This includes ICAO 9837, ICAO Annex 3, CAP437, and CAP746.)

Software for data visualization and interpretation

Ceilometer data can be displayed using Campbell’s Viewpoint software or fed directly into existing data systems. The Campbell Viewpoint software will display the output from the ceilometer in a convenient and configurable form, including information on sky condition, mixing layers, scatter profiles, etc. All can be displayed simultaneously or separately with ranges and time scales. For more information on Viewpoint click here.

Specifications

Dimensions 737 x 294 x 240 mm (29.0 x 11.6 x 9.5 in.) including tilt base
Weight 18 kg (39.7 lb)

Instrument Performance

Reporting Range 0 to 8 km (0 to 26,250 ft)
Minimum Reporting Resolution 5 m (15 ft)
Hard Target Range Accuracy ±0.25%, ±4.6 m
Reporting Cycle 2 to 600 s
Cloud Layers Reported Up to four layers
Sky Condition Up to five layers with cover in oktas according to WMO requirements for SYNOP and METAR codes as standard
Vertical Visibility Reported when there is obscuration but no clouds detected
Laser Type InGaAs
Laser Wavelength 912 nm (±5 nm)
Eye Safety Standard Class 1M

Electrical Specification

AC Power Source 115/230 Vac ±15% (auto switching), 50 to 60 Hz Power drain from 230 V is 15 W minimum, up to 380 W with all the heaters on.
DC Power Source Only 10 to 40 Vdc, current drain 1 A at 12 Vdc, 0.5 A at 24 Vdc (The AC heaters are not used when powered from DC alone.)
Battery Internal 12 V 7 Ah battery backup
Interfaces
  • Data - RS-232 / RS-422 / RS-485 / Ethernet option
  • Maintenance - USB 2.0 (USB 1.1 compatible)
  • Baud Rate - 300 to 115200 bps
Laser Safety Compliance EN 60825-1:2014
EMC Compliance EN 61326-1:2013
Electrical Safety Compliance EN 61010-1:2010

Environmental Specification

Temperature Range -40° to +60°C (-40° to +140°F) excluding battery
Humidity Range 0 to 100% RH
IP Rating IP66 (NEMA 4X)
Maximum Wind Speed 55 m/s (123 mph)


FAQs for

Number of FAQs related to SkyVUE8: 2

  1. The cloud ceiling height relates to the height of the base of the cloud where the sky is overcast or has broken cloud cover.

  2. Cloud height

    Cloud height is commonly used to refer to the height of the cloud base above ground level. (This is what the ceilometer reports.) However, it can also be used to refer to the thickness of a cloud, which is the difference in height between the base and very top of the cloud. It is possible for a ceilometer to estimate the thickness of thinner clouds. Occasionally, when reporting satellite data, it can also be used to refer to the height of the very top of a cloud above ground level.

    Cloud layers

    At any one time, there may be several separate layers of cloud above a point on the ground. Each of these is a cloud layer, and each is given a cloud base height when it is detected by a ceilometer. The WMO (World Meteorological Organization) has set out rules that govern the minimum vertical separation that is required between layers before reporting more than one layer of cloud.

    Cloud base

    The cloud base is the lowest part of a cloud that passes overhead. It is typically measured with a ceilometer.

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