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Application Note

Wind speed measurement in aggressive particle test facilities

WindUltra ultrasonic anemometers maintain high accuracy measurement under extreme dust and blown sand conditions


Gill were in the process of developing its next generation of high performance 2-axis ultrasonic wind sensors and one of the key product performance specifications was to excel in aggressive environments.

To measure the success of the new product development it was necessary to engage independent ingress protection testing using the highest quality test houses.    

Testing the new wind sensor product, WindUltra, to DEF-STAN 00-35 and ensuring that it performed well under these extreme conditions, was defined as a key product requirement.  The test involves blowing sand and blowing dust while evaluating the performance of the anemometer.

Gill selected Particle Technology as the preferred test house because of their accredited status and reputation for quality and service. As well as having some of the most advanced facilities for sand and dust testing, they also brought high levels of expertise in the area delivered by highly capable technicians ensuring Gill had total confidence in the test quality and validity in accordance with the standards. Particle Technology are recognised from within the test industry as a leading supplier. 


During the test, a pitot tube is used to measure the wind speed up stream of the dust and sand injection. Pitot tubes provide highly accurate wind speed measurement and are the standard tool for air speed measurement, however, they require a clean environment and struggle to provide measurement in the dust environment of the test.


WindUltra, the new Gill ultrasonic anemometer, was found to be both tough and also highly accurate, enabling it to be used within the downstream area of the blown sand and dust test facility. It’s measurement capabilities experience minimum disruption in these harsh environments.

Particle Technology performed the blowing sand and dust test on WindUltra and were surprised by the high level of agreement of the anemometer with the reference pitot tube used to measure the wind speed. This is not expected or standard under these test conditions.

“The high level of correlation between the WindUltra 2-axis ultrasonic anemometer and the Pitot tube in the clean condition really impressed us” said Greg Spicer, Managing Director of Particle Technology. Pitot tubes are used for calibration purposes for that reason but can’t be used in anything other than the cleanest environments, which limits their use in this aggressive test environment.

Particle Technology are considering using WindUltra in their future test set up.

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Blowing sand test configuration:


Typical data sample from the 3 hour blowing sand test:

2 minute data sample

A two minute sample of data from the blowing sand test shows the unit consistently reporting wind speed and direction during the test

The sand was blasted at 30m/s for a duration of 3 hours, forming part of an extreme endurance test.
Test: DEF-STAN 00-35, Prt3, Iss4, Chpt 3-25
Test house: Particle Technology

WindUltra has undergone extensive environmental testing to IP69k including wind blown dust & sand, pressurised water, hammer impact, shock & vibration and altitude testing:

windultra wind sensor undergoing aggressive environmental testing

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