Ceilometers / SkyVue 8M
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SkyVue 8M Tactical LIDAR Ceilometer
Services Available
Repair Yes
Free Support Yes


The SkyVue™8M Tactical LIDAR Ceilometer is ideal for quick tactical deployment (for permanent or temporary installation) for military or civilian applications in all climates.

The ceilometer's robust construction requires minimal maintenance and enables continuous use and multiple deployments in the harshest of environments. Designed to be easily portable, the SkyVue 8M has unique quick-deploy stabilizing legs, low weight, and a compact design with a beige finish and two canvas covers to suit all applications.

The SkyVue 8M has many standard features, including a tilting base, a two-axis inclinometer for automatic correction of cloud heights, heaters, blowers, and a sun filter for operation under all conditions—making deployments possible around the world.

The SkyVue 8M has an operating range of 8 km and meets or exceeds all the necessary ICAO, CAA, and WMO requirements and recommendations.

Unique standard features include an easy-to-operate stratocumulus calibration and twin clocks to augment its many continuous diagnostic self-checks and provide assurance of continuous, reliable, and accurate performance.

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Benefits and Features

  • Single-lens design for high signal-to-noise ratio and maximized detector sensitivity, resulting in greater performance at low and high altitudes
  • Low weight and small form factor for maximum portability
  • Quick-deploy stabilizing legs
  • Multiple camouflage options with shroud
  • Low power consumption with multiple power options
  • Unique continuous comparison of two separate internal quartz clocks to eliminate possibility of clock drift, ensuring measurement confidence
  • User-friendly stratocumulus calibration capability and easy test with provided calibrator plate for easy field setup and calibration


Detailed Description

The SkyVue 8M LIDAR ceilometer measures cloud height and vertical visibility for aviation and meteorological applications. Using LIDAR (LIght Detection And Ranging) technology, the ceilometer transmits fast, low-power laser pulses into the atmosphere and detects backscattered returns from clouds and aerosols above the instrument.

A unique, efficient single-lens design increases optical signal-to-noise ratio and allows for larger optics in a compact package, improving accuracy and measurement performance.

This approach, along with state-of-the-art electronics, provides a powerful and stable platform from which to measure cloud height and vertical visibility to high accuracy. The SkyVue 8M measures the atmosphere with high stability and repeatability, delivering excellent performance in even the harshest of conditions.

The SkyVue 8M provides information on cloud height, sky condition (up to five layers), vertical visibility, and raw backscatter profiles to a range of 8 km.


Dimensions 763 x 360 x 253 mm (30.0 x 14.2 x 10.0 in.) including base and handle
Weight 18 kg (39.7 lb) excluding cables

Instrument Performance

Reporting Range 0 to 8 km (0 to 26,250 ft)
Minimum Reporting Resolution 5 m (16.4 ft)
Hard Target Range Accuracy ±0.25%, ±4.6 m (15.1 ft)
Reporting Cycle 2 to 600s
Cloud Layers Reported Up to four layers (up to five layers in Sky Condition)
Sky Condition Up to five layers with cover in oktas according to WMO requirements for SYNOP and METAR codes as standard
Laser Type InGaAs
Laser Wavelength 912 nm (±5 nm)
Military Specification
  • MIL-STD-80g (for resistance to shock and vibration)
  • DEF STAN 00-035 (for resistance to shock and vibration)

Electrical Specification

Power Source
  • DC power source only
  • 10 to 40 Vdc, current drain 9 A at 12 Vdc, 4.5 A at 24 Vdc
Interfaces-Maintenance USB 2.0 (USB 1.1 compatible)
Interfaces-Baud Rate 300 to 115200 bps
Interfaces-Data RS-232 / RS-422* / RS-485* / Ethernet option *The standard wiring of the military output connector does not support RS-422 and RS-485 functionality. Functionality to support RS-485 and RS-422 are available by special order only.

Environmental Specification

Temperature Range -40° to +60°C (-40° to +140°F)
Humidity Range 0 to 100% RH
IP Rating IP66 (NEMA 4X)
Maximum Wind Speed 55 m/s (123 mph) if securely attached to the ground (without camouflage covers)

Compliance and Testing

-NOTE- Further details regarding compliance and testing are available upon request.
EMC Compliance EN 61326-1:2013
Electrical Safety Compliance EN 61010-1:2010
Laser Safety Compliance EN 60825-1:2014
Eye Safety Standard Class 1M
Vibration BS EN 60068-2-6:2008 Test Fc: Vibration (Sinusoidal)
Frequency Range 5 to 150 Hz (exceeds Lloyd's Register test levels)


Note: The following shows notable compatibility information. It is not a comprehensive list of all compatible or incompatible products.

Data Loggers

Product Compatible Note
CR1000 (retired)
CR200X (retired)
CR206X (retired)
CR211X (retired)
CR216X (retired)
CR295X (retired)
CR3000 (retired)
CR5000 (retired)
CR800 (retired)
CR850 (retired)
CR9000X (retired)


Product Compatible Note


Campbell Viewpoint v. (86 MB) 10-09-2019

Campbell Viewpoint is viewing software designed to accompany the Campbell Scientific optical sensor range, including the CS135 ceilometer, SkyVue PRO, SkyVue 8, SkyVue 8M, CS120A visibility and CS125 present weather sensors. It is free to download (or via email on request) and use for 100 hours, after which you will need to purchase a key to continue using it.


Viewpoint version has introduced our new ceilometer sensors to the list of instruments that can be monitored.  This includes the SkyVue PRO, SkyVue 8 and SkyVue 8M.  

Previous sensors are still available.

Version also includes some minor bug fixes and improvements to the help menu.

SkyVue Example Programs v.1 (3 KB) 11-07-2019

CRBasic data logger programs for use with CS message 1. One example includes a cyclic redundancy check (CRC).
Please contact support for help with programming to read other message types.

Frequently Asked Questions

Number of FAQs related to SkyVue 8M: 1

  1. The cloud ceiling height relates to the height of the base of the cloud where the sky is overcast or has broken cloud cover.

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