Aerosol LIDARs can provide visibility measurement, including Slant Visual Range (SVR - visibility up the glide slope), Runway Visual Range (RVR), and Vertical Optical Range (VOR - visibility at the decision point). LIDARs offer remote detection, augmenting current sensors wherever visibility is an issue, including for airports, ports, and oil platforms. Using the same principle, they are also capable of detecting incoming fog.
Runway Visual Range (RVR) is measured currently using transmissometers or forward scatter meters – measurement is in-situ on the runway
Runway Visual Range vs Slant Visual Range
LIDARs can measure Slant Visual Range (SVR) – remote visibility
Remote Visibility / Fog
The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) helped create an International Standard (ISO) for LIDARs entitled:
“Ground based remote sensing of visual range with LIDAR”
ISO number 28902-1:2012
LIDARs therefore provide a standardized method of visibility measurement.
Measuring SVR instead of RVR is potentially advantageous in two ways:
1. Safety – provides a more accurate measure of pilot’s visibility
2. Financial – research has shown that the pilot’s visibility is probably often better than RVR indicates (meaning more planes can land).