Washington: US scientists have placed lasers on a buoy to accurately measure the wind off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts.
The buoy has three upward-facing lasers that can measure the wind speed and direction continuously up to about 650 feet above sea level.
This technology is called LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging).
The idea is to provide long-term measurements of how much power offshore wind can generate and to help designers prevent wind turbine fatigue.
"To build turbines that can withstand this stress, engineers need to understand exactly how the wind behaves at every point between sea level and the top of the highest blade," scientists reported.
The buoys do this by bouncing laser pulses off particles in the atmosphere.
The first buoy is tentatively scheduled to deploy in mid-November off the coast of Virginia, Wired.com reported.
The second will deploy off central Oregon soon afterward.
The project is funded by the US Department of Energy.