About the buoy

Axys WindSentinel buoyThe Lake Michigan Wind Assessment project, a research partnership between Grand Valley State University and the University of Michigan, has deployed state-of-the-art laser (LIDAR) wind sensing technology and other instrumentation on a floating buoy / research platform manufactured by AXYS Technologies, Inc. of Sidney, British Columbia. 

The buoy, called WindSentinel, was dedicated on October 7, 2011 and deployed later that day for validation studies in Muskegon Lake.  On November 4, it was deployed in Lake Michigan, where it is now on station four miles offshore from Muskegon (see photo).  It is currently recording and transmitting data, and will be retrieved before the end of December.

The principal research technology on board the WindSentinel is a Vindicator laser wind sensor manufactured by Catch the Wind of Virginia. This is the first time that laser wind sensing technology is being used on a floating platform to measure commercial scale offshore wind resources.

  Buoy Milestones  
 Sept. 27 Delivered from Vancouver, BC to Muskegon, MI  
 Oct. 7 Buoy Dedication, NOAA/ GLERL Station, Muskegon, MI  
 Oct. 7 Deployed for data validation studies, Muskegon Lake, MI  
 Nov. 4 Deployed on station and successfully transmitting from four miles offshore from Muskegon, Lake Michigan  
 Dec. 31 Approximate retrieval date, concluding 2011 field season  

The WindSentinel is now demonstrating its capabilities to provide extended season, real-time in-the-water data. The flexibility and mobility of the buoy provides significant cost and time savings as compared to constructing a traditional meteorological (met) tower with anemometer instrumentation. This new and highly mobile research capacity brings new and unique capability to explore the potential of future offshore wind energy development  on the Great Lakes.




Buoy manufacturer info:

WindSentinel Digital Data Sheet

AXYS Technologies


Vindicator® Laser Wind Sensor:

Catch the Wind


Return to Offshore Wind main page

Page last modified January 5, 2016