Vaisala, a provider of weather, environmental, and industrial measurement, today introduced the newest capabilities of the innovative Vaisala Forward Scatter Sensor FD70, empowering airport decision-makers to maintain safe, informed operations by accurately and reliably identifying and reporting on the most challenging visibility and weather conditions. Purpose built to detect even the lightest precipitation occurrence, FD70 ensures 100% detection of aqueous particles extending to freezing rain and drizzle, and even sand and dust, in real time.

Utilizing its unprecedented forward scatter light-sheet method and leveraging Vaisala’s patented measurement technology, FD70 provides air traffic controllers, pilots, and airport personnel with the superior and reliable real-time information they need to keep flights, airports, and ground operations safe and efficient. With its rapid and reliable measurement performance over a wide range of parameters, low maintenance requirements, and impressive lifespan, FD70 enables the aviation industry to save on time, personnel resources, and costs while making the most informed decisions possible.

With 30 years of forward scatter sensor development expertise and the most expansive customer base of forward scatter sensors installed at more than 2,000 airports around the world, Vaisala’s enhancements to FD70 solidify its position as the industry’s most advanced and trusted forward scatter technology to meet present weather, runway condition, Runway Visual Range (RVR) assessment, and visibility determination needs.

Key enhancements to FD70 include:

  • Single-particle analysis: Leveraging its proprietary, multi-dimensional approach, FD70 can identify the most challenging precipitation types on a particle-by-particle basis.

  • Unprecedented accuracy and reliability: The sensitivity of FD70 delivers the most reliable readings and performs as best-in-class based on industry trials, performance analysis, rigorous field testing and validation by Vaisala scientists in the harshest of conditions.

  • Comprehensive measurement: In addition to its novel detection parameters, FD70 reports visibility, precipitation types, precipitation accumulation, temperature, humidity, freezing conditions, droplet size distribution, fall speed distribution, kinetic energy, and radar reflectivity. 

FD70 enhances the reliability of AutoMETAR reporting and complies with ICAO, FAA, and WMO requirements. Leveraging a proven calibration traceability for accurate visibility data and a measurement range of up to 100 kilometers, FD70 can accurately detect the onset and end of precipitation events and other weather conditions, ensuring fast reaction times and maximum airport continuity.