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Welcome to the home for SWE’s Open Source Lidar Project!

This wiki houses the documentation for Stuttgart Wind Energy’s Open Source Lidar Project. If you would like to view or edit any of the information on the modules of the OpenLidar system, please scroll down and click on the “Modules” link. You can also find information regarding progress on the system, useful papers about lidars, and information regarding the style of the documentation within this wiki in the links below.

What is lidar?

A lidar is a machine used to measure wind speed using Doppler methods, similar to a radar, but using light instead of radio waves. Currently, commercial lidars used for wind speed measurements in research are costly and not very customizable. Researchers often don’t know what’s going on inside the lidar. If a researcher wants to make a change to the lidar’s design, it generally takes years for a company to produce the new product. All of these problems led to researchers wanting more of a say in how lidars are made.

The concept for open source lidar came from the IEA Task 32.


The idea of this project is the conceptual development of a modularized open source lidar system. The possibility of realizing an open source lidar system should be evaluated by defining a modularized framework with interface definitions. The goal of this modularized open lidar system is to have a platform which can be used in academia and research tailored to the individual requirements of different applications as well as a platform for commercial research and development of the technology. Furthermore, the developed concept should be presented in an online platform where everyone can contribute to the idea of open source development. The project is very close to research projects and shall be carried out in cooperation with international partner institutes to cover their needs and ideas, too. It includes a lot of “market analysis” and gathering of background information and is planned to be only the starting point for the OpenLidar idea.

OpenLidar System

The OpenLidar system will follow the following high-level structure.



Here are the detail pages of all the OpenLidar system modules.



Documentation (Style Guide)


History of Project

Team Space: a place for different teams of students to keep all of their internal documents

Useful Papers for those new to lidar

Diagrams used in module documentation


The following people have contributed to the OpenLidar project, and can be contacted for questions regarding this project or this wiki.

Project Management:

Andrew Clifton; National Wind Technology Center; National Renewable Energy Laboratory; Golden, C0, 80401; email

Florian Haizmann; University of Stuttgart; Stuttgart Wind Energy; Allmandring 5b; 70569 Stuttgart; email

Steffen Raach; University of Stuttgart; Stuttgart Wind Energy; Allmandring 5b; 70569 Stuttgart; email

Ines Würth; University of Stuttgart; Stuttgart Wind Energy; Allmandring 5b; 70569 Stuttgart; email

Summer 2015 Students:

Alan Yeh; University of Arizona; email

Frank Modruson IV; Purdue University; email

Joshua Calafato; University of Toronto Engineering; email

Katherine Maul; Purdue University; email

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