A laser sheet sensor (LASS) for wind-blown sand flux measurement

Bailiang Li*, Qingqian Ning, Yunsheng Yu, Jieyu Ma, Lukas F. Meldau, Jianhui Liu, Yanyu He

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


There is a tendency to use high-frequency piezoelectric, acoustic, and optical sensors to measure aeolian sand transport rates in the aeolian community. However, most of these sensors are particle counters with inconsistent sensitivities or low saturation limits. Here we introduce a commercial laser sheet sensor (LASS) that can be deployed streamwisely to measure local saltation flux or perpendicularly to capture the bulky character of sand streams. Our laboratory and field experiment results show that LASS sensors respond linearly to the sand flux over the range of 0–20 kg m−2 s−1, covering most saltation events in nature. The LASSes are extremely consistent. They maintain their functionality even with minor lens contamination or laser misalignment during deployment. LASSes should not be deployed in environments with poorly sorted or moist sand or non-unidirectional wind.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100681
JournalAeolian Research
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021


  • Aeolian sensors
  • Aeolian transport
  • Optical sensors
  • Saltation sensors
  • Sand transport

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