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WIND TURBINE CLUTTER


FEATURE SPONSOR


CHANGING THE WORLD OF RADAR


Rob Abbott, Aviation Director at Aveillant, UK-based radar company, explains how a key application for Aveillant’s 3D Holographic Radar™ has been wind farms, to eliminate the effect that wind turbines have on air traffic control radars.


Masking and blanking the area above and around wind farms is not the answer, although up until recent times this has been one of the only fixes available to an Air Navigation Service Provider (ANSPs). This doesn’t provide an accurate picture of airspace and reduces the coverage required, contrary to the needs of an industry that has to be risk averse and needs to operate safely and safeguard airspace in order to facilitate the European aspirations of flexible airspace usage.


HOLOGRAPHIC RADAR ANSPS These approaches are sometimes accepted as ‘good enough’ because they are all that’s available and there is intense pressure to enable wind farm developments; however, in reducing risk, aviation is duty bound under the principles of ICAO safety management to use the As Low As Reasonably Practicable (ALARP) approach.


Solutions have traditionally focused on the problems caused by wind farms, rather than looking at the inability of radars to differentiate and remove wind turbine ‘clutter’ from images used by operators.


THINKING OUTSIDE THE BOX Rob says: “What if, rather than charging across the landscape to fix the wind farm, which in the last 10 years has led to raising aerial heads, hiding turbines behind a hill (known as terrain masking), painting them with radar suppression material or just blanking them out on the radar screen – what if we turned around, walked back to the root of the issue and saw the radar as the problem? Where would we be then? Exactly where Aveillant is today.”


Even recent advances in standard radar technologies, which look to reduce the impact of turbine break through, still mean the aircraft are not presented to the display if they are co-incidental to the turbines being removed in that location. The safety argument becomes one of probability of loss, rather than detection.


Now with Holographic Radar ANSPs can, for less overall cost, have full, unrestricted coverage with no gaps due to blanking or masking, which begs the question, why would they choose anything else?


MAJOR ADVANCE


3D Holographic Radar is a major advance on the traditional rotating radar. Holographic Radar provides accurate measurement (or time on target) 100% of the time compared to rotating radar which is only on target 1% of the time. Astaring, static array radar, Holographic Radar provides a constant view of airspace at all times, never losing sight of the target. Through intelligent characterisation of all objects in its range using hyper fine


94 www.windenergynetwork.co.uk


Doppler information, the radar can detect, differentiate and selectively remove clutter such as wind turbines, motorway traffic or trains, providing a clutter free view of what the operator wants to see.


PROGRESS Rob continues: “For the past four years, 3D Holographic Radar has been in development and it is now one of only two mitigation solutions with safety cases underway in the UK. In 2013, we held public trials of the radar at Prestwick Airport, where it was independently assessed to have a probability of detection above the wind farm of above 99%, compared to Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) CAP 670 recommendations of 90%.


“At the site, our 3D Holographic Radar also continued to operate in severe storms with winds in excess of 90 miles per hour. This and our independently reviewed verification methods, has proved to the industry that Holographic Radar is not only extremely robust but can also easily achieve CAP 670 compliance.”


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