With offshore wind becoming a key source of renewable energy there exists a requirement for the acquisition of meteorological information at the sites allocated for development. Installation of a conventional, static, meteorological mast is costly. Multiple masts are required to obtain data at several positions in a large offshore wind farm, which further increases the cost of gathering such data. A structure that has mobility for relocation about the site has the potential to reduce costs whilst improving data capture coverage. As such, an instrumentation platform in the form of a floating structure which can be moved easily is desirable.
This work discusses the development of a low-motion, lightweight, floating platform with tunable motion response as a basis for a repositionable meteorological measurement station. Wind speed and direction measurements are acquired at a range of heights in the atmosphere through the use of a pulsed Lidar (light detection and ranging) system. The motions of the platform have been analyzed both numerically and experimentally, and the performance of the platform in a range of seas is good.