March 8th, 2023, 12.08. Location: Scottish West Coast.

One last check of all the safety procedures with the crew, going over the lifting plan and securing the delivery location, and then it’s finally time. Time to cast off the ropes and sail out of the harbor, into the North Sea, at about 4 knots (about 7 km/h). After about 5 hours of calm sailing, the Floating LiDAR System (FLS) arrives at the offshore wind measurement mast that rises more than 100 meters above the seawater and will serve as a reference during a 6-month Stage 2 validation campaign. Right next to the wind measurement mast, the FLS will be carefully deployed, secured by a fist-thick steel chain attached to a concrete anchor block to prevent drift.

Pondera and partner Oldbaum jointly organized this Stage 2 validation campaign in response to a customer request. For the manufacturer of these FLS, the intended Stage 2 validation campaign is an important step in realizing their commercial ambitions. It demonstrates that a level of maturity has been achieved in FLS design that contributes to the effective collection of reliable wind and wave measurement data at sea. This Stage 2 ‘seal of approval’ of the Carbon Trust Offshore Wind Accelerator Roadmap is an increasingly common requirement for offshore project developers wishing to deploy an FLS in the preliminary phase of an offshore wind project.


Before the start of the data analysis of the FLS measurement data and validation procedures, the two partners have already taken many steps in the preparation phase. For example, there has been much coordination with local authorities to apply for a permit, port locations have been selected to assemble and test the FLS, and a suitable boat has been found to facilitate the deployment of the FLS. Oldbaum primarily contributes local knowledge and solutions, as well as a specialization in FLS validation. Pondera provides the overall project management and ensures that the processes run as streamlined as possible according to the customer’s needs.

The measurement data coming in will be studied monthly to monitor the process and keep the client informed of the status and any recommended interventions. This fall, when the 6 months of measurement data are in, the progress and operational functionality will be assessed. When Stage 2 is achieved for this FLS, not only this specimen but also similar types from the customer can be used directly on commercial projects. This way, we help answer the market’s loud call for more reliable measurements for offshore wind farms under development.

Would you like to learn more about this project or how Pondera can help with your LiDAR campaign? Projectleader Bas Verkerk will represent Pondera at WindEurope Copenhagen on April 25-27th. You can find us at booth D-G20.

Consultant Renewable Energy