Laser particle counter validation for aeolian sand transport measurements using a highspeed camera

Leonardo Duarte-Campos, Kathelijne M. Wijnberg, Loreto Oyarte-Gálvez, Suzanne J.M.H. Hulscher

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13 Citations (Scopus)
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Measuring aeolian sand transport rates in the field has been a long-standing challenge. In this paper, we present the results of a laboratory experiment to test the ability of a laser particle counter sensor (Wenglor) to accurately count sand grains of various grain size classes and stainless steel beads. We compared the count data collected by the Wenglor with images from a Highspeed camera which revealed the actual number of grains passing the laser beam. A Silicon photodiode was used to record the laser intensity reduction induced by the sand grain passage through the laser beam to derive the minimal necessary reduction for the Wenglor to count grains.
For the two possible settings of the Wenglor, i.e., Minimal Teach-in or Normal Teach-in, a minimum of 18% and 78% blocking of the laser beam was required for recording a count. This implies that the minimum grain size that can be observed by the Wenglor is 210±3μm and 495±10μm for the two settings respectively, which is considerably coarser than previously assumed. Due to the non-uniform power distribution of the laser sensor intensity, at the detection limit of 210 μm, only grains passing through the centre of the beam will be counted.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-44
JournalAeolian research
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • METIS-322009


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