20Sep

Sensors You Could Fit In The Gyrochute: Wind Speed Sensor


In the story Wizard of Oz, a cyclone hit Kansas.

Dorothy's house whirled around and rose slowly through the air.

The Wizard of Oz
The Wizard of Oz

The wind blew so hard that when she got out of her house, she was no longer in Kansas!

That, my friend, is the effect of wind speed.

.

So what is wind speed?

How does a wind speed sensor work?

Why do you want to equip the Gyrochute with a wind speed sensor?

Let's find out in this article!

What Is Wind Speed?

Wind speed is the weather-related speed of air movement from a place to the other.

Wind speed is the weather-related speed of air movement from a place to the other.
Wind speed is the weather-related speed of air movement from a place to the other.

It is usually measured by an anemometer, which is a device consisting of a vertical pillar and three or four concave cups. The anemometer captures the horizontal movement of air particles.

It is heavily affected by different factors, such as :

  • Height of The Measurement

Wind speed usually increases with height above the earth's surface.

Position of airport's anemometer
Position of airport's anemometer

In aviation, a measurement height of 10 meters (33 feet) has become the rigor for most of today’s airport anemometers. However, other anemometers can be located anywhere you like.

  • Environment

The roughness of the ground and the presence of buildings, trees, and other obstacles in the vicinity will affect the wind measurement.

The environment affects wind speed
The environment affects wind speed

For example, an anemometer placed in Western Sydney will have a different wind speeds record compared to the one in Sydney Harbour.

  • Pressure gradient 

It is a term that describes the difference in air pressure between two points in the atmosphere or on the surface of the Earth.

It is necessary, because the bigger the difference in pressure, the quicker the wind flows (from the high to low pressure) to balance out the difference.

How Does A Wind Speed Sensor Work?

As we have mentioned earlier, wind speed is measured using an anemometer.

wind speed is measured using an anemometer
wind speed is measured using an anemometer

Typically, an anemometer has three or four cups attached to horizontal arms. The arms are attached to a vertical rod. When the wind blows, the cups rotate, making the rod spin. The rod will spin faster when a stronger wind blows.

The number of rotations or turns is counted by the anemometer which is used to calculate wind speed. Wind speed is usually averaged over a short period of time because they are not consistent (there are gusts and lulls).

Other anemometers work by:

  • Taking advantage of the fact that air cools a heated object when it flows over it.

  • Measuring the speed of sound waves or by shining laser beams on tiny particles in the wind and measuring their effect.

Why Equip The Gyrochute With A Wind Speed Sensor?

If this is your first time here, you're probably wondering, what is a gyrochute?

A cutaway of the Gyrochute, 2021

The Gyrochute is an unpowered safe descent vehicle that we at Dandelions is currently developing. The vehicle relies on the principle of auto-rotation, not only air resistance, to securely deliver payloads.

Our Gyrochute comes with a payload container that you can fit with wind speed sensors.

So, why equip the Gyrochute with a wind speed sensor?

1 - Meteorology

In meteorology, winds play a significant role in determining and controlling climate and weather. Wind speed and direction are important for monitoring and predicting weather patterns and global climate.

Wind speed and direction are important for monitoring and predicting weather patterns and global climate.
Wind speed and direction are important for monitoring and predicting weather patterns and global climate.

Wind carries moisture into an atmosphere, as well as hot or cold air into a climate that affects weather patterns. Therefore, a change in wind results in a change of weather.

For example, wind speed and direction can tell if a storm is going to happen. Therefore, the bureau of meteorology can work together with various government bodies to prepare for the upcoming storms and warn the citizens.

The Gyrochute could be dropped in remote areas to monitor the local weather.

2 - Agriculture

For agriculture, wind brings several impacts:

High-speed wind could cause fruits and grains to fall
High-speed wind could cause fruits and grains to fall
  1. Wind increases the turbulence in the atmosphere, therefore increasing carbon dioxide supply to the plants resulting in greater photosynthesis rates.

  2. Hot wind accelerates the drying of the plants.

  3. Strong wind damages the shoots.

  4. High-speed wind could cause fruits and grains to fall.

By dropping the Gyrochute equipped with a wind speed sensor, you can now:

  • Improve a chemical spraying schedule based on the prevailing wind speed. This is important to effectively apply chemicals and manage risks.

  • Install shelterbelts and windbreaks to reduce the physiological and mechanical damage to crops. 

Install shelterbelts and windbreaks to reduce the physiological and mechanical damage to crops.
Install shelterbelts and windbreaks to reduce the physiological and mechanical damage to crops.
  • Adjust the planting direction.

  • Provide support to the tall crops.

3 - Fire Management

Bushfire activity is more likely to happen on hot, dry, windy days.

The stronger the wind, the faster the spread of the fire. It does this by providing extra oxygen to feed the fire and it also lays over the flames, which results in pre-heating and drying of the fuel ahead of the fire front. Wind can also carry sparks and embers well ahead of the main fire, causing spot fires.

Manage fire on a windy day by dropping Gyrochutes equipped with wind speed sensors.
Manage fire on a windy day by dropping Gyrochutes equipped with wind speed sensors.

When wind speeds below around 10 km/hour occur, a fire will usually burn slowly without a definite spread direction. However, when the wind's strength increases, the rate of fire spread is accelerated.

By dropping the Gyrochute equipped with a wind speed sensor, you can predict the rate of fire spread. Other than that, it can also help firefighters to know which area is a priority when it comes to stopping the fire.

Conclusion

In this article, we have talked about what is wind speed, factors affecting wind speed, how a wind speed sensor works, and why you want to equip the Gyrochute with wind speed sensors.

The Gyrochute can be equipped with various other payloads, such as rain or temperature sensors, and also 360-cameras.

Contact us at hello@dandelions.cloud for more information about our products or about how our products can fit your use cases!

Is Rose really flying?
Is Rose really flying?

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