Part 3
Projects & Landmarks
Energy / Project


European WindScanner Facility

A large scale mobile experimental facility to better measure, model and exploit the wind and its energy resource


The European WindScanner Facility (WindScanner) is set out to be a distributed Research Infrastructure for full scale atmospheric boundary-layer experimental research in wind and turbulence fields for wind energy. The WindScanner infrastructure builds upon recent advances in remote sensing-based technology developed on ground-based scanning wind lidars, able to measure and quantify the atmospheric wind fields and turbulence aloft. As well as being deployed onshore, the infrastructure can be operated offshore from stable and floating platforms or by doing measurement of near-coastal wind farms. WindScanner provides unique services for the scientific community and wind industry, a one-point of entry and a joint access programme, joint R&D development activities, joint training and educational programme, stable and effective management and a strategic approach for planning and implementing measurement campaigns in Europe.

In the ESFRI Roadmap since 2010, WindScanner is in the Interim Phase and has indicated the European Research Infrastructures Consortium (ERIC) as the legal form for the future.


Wind energy is about to become the leading electricity generating technology across Europe. In 2015, 43% of the electricity produced in Denmark came from wind energy. However, a massive increase in installed wind power capacity throughout Europe is still required to meet the political goals for this sustainable energy system. The energy system of the future must provide secure, affordable and climate-friendly energy, while at the same time creating new jobs and growth. Significant progress in lowering cost of energy (LCoE) has already been achieved, but there is still potential for cost reductions, through market development, research and innovation, for wind energy to reach its full potential. WindScanner is conceived as a new unique European distributed, mobile Research Infrastructure to provide the experimental data needed by the European wind energy’s research community for high-quality full-scale atmospheric measurements of the wind fields surroundings today’s huge wind turbines, wind farms, bridges, buildings, forests and mountains. The European WindScanner facility uses remote sensed wind measurements from space and time synchronized scanners to provide detailed wind field maps of the wind and turbulence conditions from the individual turbine scale to entire wind farms extending several kilometres. Via excessive data analysis WindScanner provides detailed inflow and wake measurements for validation and verification of wind turbine design and siting and for future optimisation of design making wind energy become cheaper and more reliable for the benefit of the society.

WindScanners generate very detailed and huge amounts of data, which are challenging for researchers and other users to analyse and interpret. Therefore, in the forthcoming years, the WindScanner data acquisition and post processing needs to become faster accessible to users and the scanned 3D wind velocity data interpretation less complex. The WindScanner infrastructure has its primary use within the fields of measurements around large wind turbines, on and off shore. However, it also serves other purposes such as atmospheric boundary layer research, air safety, wind loads on buildings and bridges, wind circulation in streets and the urban environment in general.

steps for implementation

WindScanner was included in the ESFRI Roadmap as a European joint effort to coordinate a network between distributed WindScanner systems and demonstration nodes embedded within leading European organizations for wind energy research. WindScanner ended the Preparatory Phase in 2015 with a Business Plan for the realization of the ERIC as agreed by the research institutions partners. Currently in the Interim Phase, Windcanner is aiming to be operational from 2021.

Once fully established, the WindScanner RI is expected to consist of 6-8 National Nodes throughout Europe, each node having its own portable rapid deployable short and/or long-range WindScanner System. The mobile distributed Research Infrastructure will be led from a WindScanner Central Hub located in Denmark, hosted by DTU. The participants are all partners of the European Energy Research Alliance (EERA) and the WindScanner vision is to develop a European Research Infrastructure underpinning the EERA Joint Programme on Wind Energy.

legal status
political support
lead country
The full list of research institutions involved must be found in the website of the RI
Roadmap Entry
Preparation Phase
Interim/Transition Phase
Implementation/Construction Phase
Operation Start
estimated costs
capital value
20.5 M€
8.5 M€
5.9 M€
6.1 M€
2 M€/year

DTU Wind Energy
Roskilde, Denmark