Air, marine, and land transportation services use visibility detectors to optimize the security of their operations. These devices measure the distance beyond which visibility becomes poor (due to rain, fog, snow, smoke, etc.) but they are limited to a very localized area of space. However clouds are far from evenly distributed, and more widely distributed measurements would be much more useful.
The visibility sensor designed at INO provides real-time measurements of light transmission through clouds of particles in the air (fog, smoke, smog, or dust) based on distance. Visibility is determined based on this transmission profile. This instrument can be fully autonomous or remotely controlled to provide data to help in decision making. Futhermore, INO’s visibility detector could be a part of an Intelligent Transport System (ITS). It has a range of 5 m to 200 m and operates equally well day or night.
The detector features a 360° horizontal and 80° vertical scanning zone. It is laboratory-calibrated, so no calibration or optical alignment is required in the field. Our researchers are currently developing the ability to measure particle dimension, which will allow the device to autocalibrate depending on the dimension of the particles to be measured.