FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE No. 3217

Mitsubishi Electric Testing Wind LIDAR and Water Vapor DIAL, Including Laser Amplifier with World's Highest Output, for Early Forecasting of Torrential Rain

Will facilitate better forecasting of torrential rain

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TOKYO, October 11, 2018 - Mitsubishi Electric Corporation (TOKYO: 6503) announced today that it has started demonstration testing of a new system equipped with wind LIDAR (light detection and ranging) and water vapor DIAL (differential absorption LIDAR) measuring methods for the early forecasting of torrential rain. The system incorporates a newly developed high-output-power waveguide laser amplifier that delivers what is believed to be the world's highest output, 15.8 millijoules, using an a single-frequency pulse laser in the 1.5μm wavelength, which is not harmful to human eyes. The tests are expected to demonstrate that the system simultaneously measures water vapor in the air and upward air currents, which cause cumulonimbus clouds, quicker, more accurately and in a wider range compared to conventional alternatives. Going forward, Mitsubishi Electric expects to make further improvements prior to launching a commercial system for the extra-early forecasting of torrential rain.

The wind LIDAR and water vapor DIAL demonstration system will be exhibited at CEATEC JAPAN 2018 at Makuhari Messe exhibition complex in Chiba Japan from October 16 to 19.

Demonstration water vapor DIAL and wind LIDAR

Principles of water vapor DIAL and wind LIDAR measurements

The new system, which is based on a conventional wind LIDAR that Mitsubishi Electric released on May 28, 2014, has been enhanced for the measurement of water atmospheric vapor. It transmits laser beams from the ground to simultaneously measure the amount and distance of water vapor as well as the speed and direction of wind.

Extreme weather-related disasters are on the rise worldwide. In the case of torrential rain, early warnings must be issued as early as possible to enable communities to evacuate to safety. With conventional weather radars, however, cumulonimbus clouds can only be observed after they have formed, making it difficult to forecast torrential rain in time to carry out evacuations adequately. To facilitate better forecasting, Mitsubishi Electric has been extensively testing and refining the measurement accuracy of new water vapor DIAL and wind LIDAR methods, which are now in the stage of demonstration testing.