I am unsure if this is the correct place to ask such a question I will give it a go.

So, the lab I work in is building a "drone park" to conduct robotics and controls experiments in. This drone park will be a netted enclosure where we will be flying drones around in and for analysis of these experiments I think it will be very useful to know what kinds of winds these robots experienced during flight. So with that, what would be a suitable setup and/or system we could purchase to adequately record this information in such away that we can say, "this drone experienced wind of this speed with a direction of theta degrees".

I am a robotics/controls guy and do not have too much practical knowledge of measuring wind. For example, can I get away with one sensor in the center measuring direction and speed and say that is relatively uniform over the whole drone park, or will I need a network of sensors? Should I use 3d sensors (I think so).

Overall, I would like a recommendation of what sensor(s) to get, how many, and what configuration.


EDIT: Whatever the system is, I need to access raw data through a live feed.

EDIT: I'd like to also avoid placing this sensor on the drone as that is not the intended use for this.

  • $\begingroup$ metoffice.gov.uk/weather/guides/observations/… - the top two instruments should suffice (anemomenter for speed, weather vane for direction). If you need data on gusts and turbulence, the instruments get both more complex and expensive. $\endgroup$
    – Erik
    Commented Jul 27, 2021 at 8:00
  • $\begingroup$ @Erik Thank you for your information, what can you tell me about these other instruments for gusts and turbulence? What kind of frequency may be required to measure these sudden changes in wind? Based on a quick look at some random ultrasonic anemometers, these seem to have sampling frequencies of less than 0.25 seconds, is that not sufficient? $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 27, 2021 at 14:37

1 Answer 1


The wind varies with height (speed and direction) so the measurement will depend on the flight height of the drones.

It is best to have a lidar or sodar equipment for 3D wind measurement, but they are expensive (they can measure more than 150 m).

Another alternative is to install a meteorological tower with wind measurements at different heights. Obviously, the height of the sensors will depend on the flight height and the number of towers will depend on the terrain type of the "drone park".

On flat terrain, without hills or structures, the wind (horizontally) can be considered uniform.

  • $\begingroup$ So the height of the drone park is 30 ft and the terrain will be flat. How many 3d (sonar/lidar) anemometers would make sense to place vertically on a meteorological tower (in this case a central utility post), assuming the drones will fly anywhere from 3ft to lets say 25ft in height. As always, thanks for you input, it is very helpful! $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 28, 2021 at 16:07

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