MOL vessel in world’s first onboard wind condition measurement device demo

Japanese shipping major Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) and compatriot start-up Metro Weather have conducted the world-first demonstration experiment using Doppler Lidar onboard an experimental vessel to measure wind conditions.

Winz Maru. Courtesy of MOL

For the purpose of this experiment, the MOL-owned small yacht Winz Maru was equipped with Metro Weather’s Doppler Lidar to navigate while grasping faraway wind conditions in real time.

As a result, the zero-emission vessel powered by wind and hydrogen, a part of the Wind Hunter project, successfully measured real-time and 3D wind conditions within a 15-kilometre radius while underway.

Doppler Lidar onboard can measure winds around vessels directly and make them visualized, giving more accurate information than weather forecasts from satellite, Metro Weather explains.

Moreover, the device is compact in terms of its size and has the capability of measuring miles away length, which makes it useful for safe navigation.

Metro Weather’s device was originally designed for measurements on a land use basis. However, in this experiment, with the Inertial Navigation Unit, the wind conditions at real-time correction of vessel motion and movement can be measured even in the sea environment of sway and movement, MOL said.

For the next step, MOL and Metro Weather intend to promote the development of an “Onboard Wind Condition Measurement Device” and integrations of Inertial Navigation into Doppler Lidar.

This is expected to improve the quality of the safe operation by accurately predicting wind conditions and play a role in supporting optimal navigation of ships using wind energy such as Wind Challenger, and Wind Hunter projects and Wind Power Energy Business.

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