Hong Kong Observatory, HKSAR Government LIDAR Windshear Alerting System (LIWAS)
LIWAS is an automatic system developed by the Hong Kong Observatory (HKO) to alert windshear at the airport for assurance of flight safety. HKO devised an innovative method to use the laser beam of the LIDAR (LIght Detection And Ranging) to measure the wind speed variations along the airport flight paths. HKO also developed a sophisticated computer algorithm to automatically generate alerts of windshear. LIWAS is the world-first operational system utilizing the LIDAR technology for automatic detection of windshear, putting Hong Kong at the leading edge of aviation weather services.
Comments from Judging Panel
It is a pride that Hong Kong Observatory has developed the world-first LIDAR Windshear Alerting System, which is an innovation that has drawn the industry attention. The project has adopted a systematic research methodology including feedback from pilots and reports of flight data of aircrafts. The invention well improves the safety of aircrafts during taking off and landing, hence of good impact to the airline industry over the world. This successful case demonstrates Hong Kong’s abilities and advancement in airport control.