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Doppler LIght Detection And Ranging (LIDAR) systems

The installation in June 2002 of a LIght Detection And Ranging (LIDAR) system at the Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) was the first of its kind for airport windshear alerting in the world. In Nov 2006, HKO installed the second LIDAR at the Northern Fire Station in HKIA. The first LIDAR was then relocated to the Southern Fire Station in Mar 2008. This "Dual LIDAR" setup further enhanced the efficiency of windshear detection over the two runways.

The LIDAR complements the Terminal Doppler Weather Radar (TDWR) in windshear detection in the vicinity of the HKIA. The TDWR is capable of detecting windshear in rainy conditions by using microwave to measure the movement of rain drops in the atmosphere. The LIDAR, on the other hand, employs infrared radiation to detect the movement of dust particles or aerosols in the atmosphere. As such, LIDAR operates best in rain-free conditions, unveiling weather phenomena hiherto invisible to the human eye.

The two LIDAR systems are installed near the two runways of the HKIA. This facilitates continuous scanning of the airport departure/approach corridors and detection of airstream that may affect the aircraft within 3 nautical miles (
5.6 km) of the respective runway touchdown zones.


Dual LIDAR Windshear Alerting System

North runway LIDAR

Principle of the operation of LIDAR and TDWR