Sensors and Components for Runway Weather Information Systems

G. Lufft Mess-und Regeltechnik

Sensors and Components for Runway Weather Information Systems - RWIS

Airport Weather Sensors and Components for Runway Weather Information Systems RWIS, Ceilometer, Cloud Height, Cloud Cover, Visibility and Runway Condition Sensors.

Airports around the world use Lufft technology because it’s flexible, comes with open protocols and is easy to integrate into existing networks. Moreover Lufft sensors always work reliably and practically maintenance-free under any environmental conditions.

Since its founding by Gotthilf Lufft in 1881, G. Lufft GmbH has been leading in developing and producing climatological measuring equipment – always true to the motto “tradition meets innovation”. Lufft’s capacity for innovation and precision has helped their products to establish the solid reputation they enjoy all around the world. The company’s sensors can be found in use wherever weather variables such as cloud heights, sky conditions, runway conditions, friction, precipitation, visibility and other environmental factors need to be measured.

Together with its subsidiaries in the U.S. and in China, the company employs over 100 people. In November 2012, G. Lufft GmbH was awarded the German Standards Brand Prize and was named a “Brand of the Century.” In April 2015 Lufft convinced the jury of the Industry Prize in Germany and was overall winner, thanks to their mobile runway weather sensor MARWIS.

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  • Lufft Ceilometer for Measuring Cloud Height, Cloud Cover and Sky Condition Index

    Recognized by the German Weather Service (DWD) the Lufft CHM 15k has been selected as the ceilometer of choice for their nationwide cloud monitoring network. Lufft ceilometers reliably detect various cloud heights, cloud amount and cloud cover. Additional they provide other essential parameters and index informing on the Sky Condition, visibility and aerosol layers.

    The ceilometer has an easy to use interface and it’s designed to be a drop-in upgrade solution to any deployed ceilometer. With its open communication protocol, it can seamlessly be added to any existing ceilometer network.

    The resolution is high enough that the ceilometer is able to detect volcanic ash particles, which can have a decisive influence on the air traffic. One extreme example was the eruption of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano in Iceland in 2010 paralyzing a huge part of the European air traffic for several days. Having a Lufft ceilometer network would have supported the routing efforts for air traffic personnel.

    The Lufft CHM 15k is equipped with a one-wavelength backscatter LIDAR and stands out through its stable wavelengths, immunity against environmental influence factors such as fog, precipitation or temperature extremes, and its wide measurement range of 15km.

    It’s precise, rugged, eye-safe (1M classification), user-friendly as well as cooled or heated automatically. The window is kept clean by a window blower.

    The CHM 15k works by sending out a laser beam reflected by its sensitive photo receivers creating a backscatter profile. Small bandwidth filters precisely detect cloud heights, aerosol layers and multiple cloud layers.

    In February 2018, the Lufft CHM8k – a less expensive ceilometer version – was launched for applications in which low-lying measurement ranges in up to eight kilometers are in focus. Compared to the CHM 15k, it has no constraints regarding accuracy, quality or sensitivity.

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  • Stationary and Mobile Runway Condition Sensors

    92% of all landing accidents are caused by slippery runway conditions (source: The Boeing Company). To avoid such weather-related landing incidents, runway condition sensors from Lufft inform on several surface states such as temperature, water film height, ice percentage and layer-related friction.

    For airport applications, Lufft offers the flush-mounted sensors IRS31Pro and ARS31(Pro), the non-invasive NIRS31 as well as StaRWIS and the mobile pavement sensor MARWIS.

    The active freezing temperature measurement of the ARS31Pro-UMB runway sensor was successfully proven by the BASt (German federal agency for roads) following the valid inspection rules of CEN/TS 15518-4:2013. The sensor measures the freezing point temperature by means of active cooling and heating independently from the anti-freeze mixture. In addition, it redetects the surface temperature. The two-parted housing design allows the inner workings to be separated from the casing for maintenance purposes.

    The latter also applies for the passive embedded road weather sensor IRS31Pro-UMB. Besides the freezing point temperatures for NaCl, MgCl and CaCl as well the surface temperature, the IRS31Pro-UMB delivers water film heights of up to 4mm, road conditions (dry, damp, wet, ice or snow, residual salt, freezing water), ice percentages as well as friction. Optionally, it can be complemented with up to two different subsurface temperature sensors in 5cm or 30cm depths. They help to predict occurring surface freezing.

    At airports, the combination of the passive IRS31Pro-UMB and the active runway sensor ARS31-UMB is necessary to inform on the proportion of de-icing agents The ARS31 supplies the IRS31Pro with the freezing point temperature. Thus, the de-icing agent concentration can be calculated.

    With a measurement frequency of up to 100 times per second, the innovative MARWIS meets all requirements of a mobile measurement device. The all-in-one sensor covers a big variety of weather parameters including the pavement conditions dry, moist, wet, snow, ice, chemically and critically wet, surface and ambient temperature, dew point temperature, ice percentages, water film height, relative humidity as well as weather-related friction. The data can be viewed on a free iOS or Android and evaluated remotely in the operation center.

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  • WS3000 - Reference Weather Sensor for Measuring of Air Temperature, Relative Humidity and Air Pressure

    In 2016 Lufft introduced an innovative weather sensor family exceeding all previous weather sensors in terms of precision. Measuring temperature, humidity and air pressure, the WS3000 is an indispensable component of RWIS systems.

    The all-in-one sensor is part of the WS1000 family and is the first multi-parameter sensor which can be dismantled completely. This is extraordinary useful for maintenance and calibration purposes and turns the WS1000 family into a highly sustainable product line. Through an integrated WiFi-module, the data can be comfortably obtained wirelessly. The high-precise device outputs the measured values in the form of open standard protocols. For customers who require the WS3000 to be equipped with a second, redundant pressure sensor, a second variant fulfilling this is available.

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  • VENTUS Ultrasonic Wind Sensor and Professional All-in-One Weather Sensor Family

    Lufft has been the first to develop all-in-one weather sensors with one cable connection covering several parameters simultaneously. The WS Family comes with an open protocol, digital interface, integrated ventilation and a weather-proof cable. The series ranges from a sensor only measuring wind to a model equipped with eight sensors issuing lightning, solar radiation, precipitation, wind, temperature, humidity, and pressure values at one go. This reduces installation, integration and maintenance efforts tremendously.

    The maintenance-free VENTUS-UMB delivers precise wind speed, wind direction and air pressure data. Furthermore, it calculates the acoustic virtual temperature. The ultrasonic wind sensor has no mechanical parts to dispense with yearly recalibration. The closed and robust metal housing protects from external interference factors, such as birds or hail. All these features make the Lufft VENTUS ideal for RWIS applications where reliability and good performance even in extreme conditions is decisive.

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  • VS20k Visibility Sensor – Detects Visual Ranges of up to 20 km

    Air saturated with water particles, fine dust, or sand can lead to reduced visibility, which is associated with life-threatening risks that need to be prevented. In severe cases, national weather services, e.g. Met Office UK, deliver weather warnings sometimes prompting air traffic controllers to cancel flights. This was the case e.g. at Heathrow airport in January 2017, where 100 flights were cancelled due to dense fog and a visual range of 100 meters (328ft) only.

    The professional visibility sensors VS20k detects water droplets as well as aerosols using forward scattered light. Due to its high sensitivity, it detects visual ranges between 10 m and 20 km. This conforms to the ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) requirements demanding MOR (Meteorological Optical Range) between below 50 m and over 10 km.

    The housing is sea water-resistant, anodized, specially coated and has the protection class IP66. Moreover the sensor reports lens contamination and the electronics automatically carries out zero point calibrations.

    All these measures ensure a mostly maintenance-free operation over the whole lifetime. However, Lufft offers a suitable kit for on-site calibration.

    The connection takes place via RS-485 semi-duplex 2-wire or SDI-12 interface. The open protocol makes it easy to integrate into any measurement network.

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G. Lufft Mess- und Regeltechnik GmbH
Gutenbergstr. 20
70736 Fellbach
P.O. BOX 4252
70719 Fellbach
  • +49 711/51822-0