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Site developers, meteorologists and wind-energy consultants will be able to use sodar more often and more affordably, Second Wind Inc. said in announcing a new product that re-invents sodar for wind profiling.

The Triton sonic wind profiler is designed to address the common challenges that have limited the use of sodar for wind resource assessment. It captures accurate wind data at height up to 200 meters, in any weather, at any location, without being attended. Readings are delivered via satellite and look like anemometry results, with no expert analysis required to understand the data.

Currently in field testing, the new product will be officially unveiled June 3 at WINDPOWER 2007 in Los Angeles, CA. Sodar stands for sound detection and ranging, and is similar to the sonar technology used by submarines and ships. Sodar sends an audible "chirp" up through the air, and wind turbulence sends a portion of the sound back toward the ground. By precisely measuring the frequency and time delay of the chirp's echo, the sodar device measures the wind speed and direction at various heights.

Sodar technology is commonly used for "site profiling" at the end of the prospecting process for potential wind farm locations. It measures above the 60-meter height of most meteorological masts, assessing wind at actual turbine heights. In addition, sodar is more portable than masts and can be moved to determine ideal turbine placement. The Triton product has been designed specifically for wind profiling by users who are not sodar experts.
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