The theory for cup-anemometer dynamics is presented in some detail and two methods of obtaining the distance constant lo are discussed. The first method is based on wind tunnel measurements: with a constant wind speed the cup anemometer is released from alocked position of the rotor and the increasing rotation rate recorded. It is concluded that the rapid increase in rotation rate makes the method very inaccurate. The second method consists of an analysis of turbulent, atmospheric of wind speed asmeasured by the cup anemometer and a fast-responding sonic anemometer with a spatial eddy resolution which is significantly better than that which can be obtained by a cup anemometer. The ratio between the measured power spectra of the horizontal windspeed by the two instruments contains the necessary information for determining the response characteristics of the cup anemometer and thereby lo. The conditions for this last method to be accurate are discussed. Field measurements are used todemonstrate how lo is determined for the Risø cup anemometer, model P2546.