Behavior and Mechanisms of Doppler Wind Lidar Error in Complex Terrain: Stable Flow Case Study at Perdigao: Article No. 052062

A. Black, J. K. Lundquist, C. Montavon, R. Robey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A numerical experiment is carried out investigating the magnitude of biases in ground-based lidar measurements in complex flow conditions. Biases assessed include those arising from flow curvature and from the interaction of turbulence with the wind field reconstruction (WFR) algorithms used by a WindCube lidars and anemometers. RANS-CFD and WRF-LES simulations were performed for the Perdigao Field Experiment site for a range of atmospheric conditions. Virtual anemometer and lidar data were generated for four locations: two near exposed ridge tops and two in low-speed regions in the valley. The LES data at these four locations show that the scalar inflation terms (the relation between scalar and vector averaged wind speed) for virtual lidar and virtual cups agree very well with predictions using perturbation theory. While the lidar errors vary greatly with location and height, the contribution from the flow curvature tends to be larger than the differences arising from scalar inflation. For one lidar/mast pair near the ridge top, comparisons between simulations and measurements are carried out for a resonant mountain wave event on June 14th, 2017, and for the whole duration of the Perdigao campaign for winds perpendicular to the ridges. The lidar error during the mountain wave, a period of strong stability and low inversion height, is significantly larger than the campaign average. The sensitivity of the lidar error to atmospheric stability is confirmed by the RANS simulations, which suggests strong sensitivity of flow curvature error to stability conditions and to the shape of the wind speed profile near the top of the boundary layer.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Physics: Conference Series
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2024

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5000-90470


  • complex terrain
  • lidar error
  • RANS simulations


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