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Advanced lidar – Applied field investigations and technology enhancement


Plume studies using doppler LIDAR and dispersion modelling


The management of airborne particulate matter associated with mining export activity at Port Hedland is a major challenge for industry and government. High dust concentration levels exceed public health standards and there is the need to develop alternative strategies for more effective management of community exposure. This research will investigate the potential for improving dust management with the use of modern tools including Coherent Doppler LIDAR and advanced meteorological dispersion model CALPUFF.

The unique attribute of Coherent Doppler LIDAR for measuring particle concentration levels and deriving 2D wind fields will be exploited to characterize dust plume behavior and transportation under a range of meteorological condition at Port Hedland. The dispersion model CALPUFF (CaLifornia PUFF model) will be refined for applying in Port Hedland, using output for the LIDAR a ground based network.

Analytical and algorithmic methods will be applied to get a better understanding of plume dispersion in a coastal environment. Understanding plume dispersion in the area is a complex regime because of the significant local topography and the near-coastal location. A revised dust management and monitoring strategy will be developed for consideration by industries stake holders based on the outcomes of the research.


Vaibhav graduated in Physics, Chemistry and Analytical Chemistry in 2007 and completed his Master Degree in Physics (Photonics) in 2009.

Vaibhav has worked on two science projects. The first project designed and developed a solar water heating system with enhanced efficiency. It was presented at the National level science exhibition for the project “Localized Green House Effect for Effective Solar Water Heating System” and won the national award. His second project was about calculation atmospheric visibility using the Mie LIDAR system. During the project Vaibhav developed LIDAR handling and MATLAB programming skills for calculation of Visibility. Vaibhav has furthermore presented papers at the International Symposium on Microwave and Optical Technology (ISMOT) in 2009.