Renewable energy generation is a key part of government policy to deliver clean growth: reducing greenhouse gas emissions, ensuring an affordable and secure energy supply and securing jobs and exports. Offshore wind farms have the potential to deliver much of this energy. A major obstacle to realising the full potential is due to the interference that wind turbines cause to exiting defence and civil radar surveillance systems.
Project Green Blade is an industry led collaboration working to overcome the objections to offshore and onshore wind farms from the radar operators in the MoD and civil aviation sectors. Within the next 3 years the project aims to provide a mitigation solution in the open market that will remove these objections and release over 10GWatts of renewable energy.
Radars & WTGs: in short, primary radars think WTGs are aircraft. Primary radars are designed to detect moving targets – turbine blades move at equivalent speeds to aircraft, having similar / greater radar cross sections as aircraft. Current military and civil air traffic control (ATC) primary radars are 2-D so cannot distinguish the elevation of the target and therefore differentiate tracks. Military air defence (AD) PSR are 3D so are less impacted – but concerns remain particularly at low altitudes. This has led to national security concerns over wind farm deployment.
AND THE SOLUTION IS…
Aveillant Theia Holographic Radar TM
This is a 3D staring primary radar that sees both aircraft and WTGs, characterising each and so discriminating between them (i.e. only reporting true targets) with no loss of performance.