Iran Becomes 9th Country to Manufacture Ceilometer

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Ceilometer, which is a device that uses a laser or other light source to determine the height of a cloud base, has been manufactured in Iran, thus, making the country the ninth in the world in terms of technical know-how for manufacturing this device.

Ceilometer is used for aviation and meteorological purposes and has been made through joint cooperation of Iran Meteorological Organization as well as Modern Industries Center of Ministry of Industries at Sharif Center for Development of Advanced Industrial Technologies.

Behrouz Kheirandish, official in charge of the project, has noted that the height of cloud base should be measured in order to make successful landing of a plane possible. “This is currently done in Iran by human watches,” he said.

The official noted that since there is a high possibility of human error in the existing method, many flights are canceled or planes are denied entry permission due to human errors.

“According to regulations of International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), ceilometer is a precondition for airports to be rated as top airport. Therefore, for the first time in the country, Nourafarin Ideh Company, which is based at Sharif University of Technology, has manufactured the device in cooperation with Iran Meteorological Organization as well as Modern Industries Center of Ministry of Industries.

He added that the device comprises projector equipment, detector, central processor and software to analyze collected information.

“Ceilometer can avail of those components to gather information on atmospheric conditions and also to process information related to height of the cloud base for at least 2 layers and relay that information to users,” he said.

Kheirandish stated that the projector emits an intense beam of light above into the sky at an angle that varies with the rotation. The detector, which is located at a fixed distance from the projector, uses a photoelectric cell pointing vertically. When it detects the projected light return from the cloud base, the instrument notes the angle and the calculation gives the height of clouds.

He added that diode laser is low power and high frequency and can supply accurate information up to an altitude of 5 km and due to various applications of that information, using this type of laser is economical. “The useful lifespan of such lasers is 60,000 hours.”

Kheirandish noted that information obtained through the system will be used in aviation and meteorology, adding, “These devices are used at military and civil airports and their information is relayed to control tower. They are also installed at meteorological stations. Due to absence of this system in our country, at present, information used for meteorological purposes is obtained through radars and since that information is regional, it is not very accurate.”

He also pointed out that the device is a supplementary system and should be used along other systems like radars.

“This combination will be capable of warning us against possible flooding and precipitation,” he said.

Kheirandish concluded by saying that technical know-how for manufacturing ceilometer was previously owned by the United States, Finland, Canada, Britain, Germany, South Africa, Russia, and Japan, and Iran is the ninth country in the world which has localized that know-how.

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