Although we are dependent to a great extent on science at present, measurement of wind speed is something that we tend to ignore. Lots of our daily activities depend significantly on wind speed measurements, for example, aviation. The measurement of wind is performed by a wind speed meter or anemometer which is derived from the Greek word Anemos indicating wind.
The first anemometer is known to have existed in around 1450 A.D. and the modern device has been around for a period of more than 150 years right now. The first successful design made use of a structure that comprised 4 arms that were fanned out and each one of them had a cup attached to it which spun the complete structure after catching the wind.
Nowadays, these devices, although simple, are quite accurate and will give you a remarkably precise result too. However, this type of wind speed meter is nevertheless a mechanical technology and it is vulnerable to friction, lubrication programs, the formation of ice, and other mechanical damages. You’ll come across competing technologies that try to eliminate the problems observed in the mechanical layout.
1. Ultrasonic anemometers
The ultrasonic type happens to be one of the most popular wind anemometers at present. It operates on this principle: the speed of sound depends on the direction and the speed of the air which it passes through. While a tailwind is going to speed it up, a headwind will be slowing it down. These types of wind anemometers are going to fire high-frequency sounds to and fro between 2 receivers. If the sound pulse requires more time while traveling in one particular direction unlike the other, it would mean that the slower trip experienced a headwind functioning against it. It would be possible to find out the speed of the wind by observing the time differential. These types of anemometers are usually used on weather stations, weather buoys, and tall buildings.
2. Constant-temperature anemometers
The constant-temperature meter is another type of anemometer design that is also used right now. A constant temperature is held by a thin piece of wire which is held in between 2 electrodes and is heated up electronically. The amount of current needed for holding the temperature at an ambient temperature level will be measured by a sensor. Any temperature loss which is faster than expected is going to be explained by the ambient temperature levels. This type of correct method of measuring wind turbulence is quite common these days. Moreover, it will not make you invest a significant amount of money for purchasing and maintaining this device.
3. Laser Doppler anemometers
The laser Doppler anemometers happen to be the third and last type of anemometers that we will be mentioning right now. It makes use of 2 laser beams, one traveling by means of a clean and sealed pathway, and the other traveling through exposed air. The beam traveling to the exposed air encounters dust particles that travel at the speed of the wind. The laser is going to bounce off all those dust particles, and computes the speed at which these particles had been traveling. This is done with the help of the Doppler shift which happens to be a comparatively new technology.