The recent approval of wind farm developments in the Western Isles was given despite objections raised by the Ministry of Defence (MoD), which said that the turbines would have an ‘unacceptable’ impact on air defence, air traffic control and range control radars.
As a critical national aviation stakeholder, the MoD raises objections and concerns about wind development proposals when its ability to deliver safe and secure UK airspace might be compromised by the known interference challenges of wind turbines in line of sight of its radars.
And this problem is not contained to Western Isles, or even the UK.
Radars used in air traffic control around the globe are often unable to distinguish between moving wind turbines and aircraft. This means that air traffic controllers can easily lose sight of aircraft over wind farms and represents a major barrier to the development of wind farms around the world. It also raises significant issues about the safety of airspace where wind turbines, or other perceived ‘clutter’, appear on radar screens.
Aveillant’s 3D Holographic Radar™ technology offers a major advance in surveillance radar. It identifies and differentiates every moving object’s signature by constantly measuring all the detailed characteristics of every individual radar reflection, providing a continuous and clear view of airspace.
It has repeatedly and successfully demonstrated its superior wind turbine interference mitigation performance during trials, both in the UK and conducted on behalf of the US Government.
During the UK trials, independent experts in aviation Helios found that Aveillant’s technology successfully detected more than 99% of the radar returns of aircraft travelling over wind farms. This far exceeds the Civil Aviation Authority’s (CAA) recommendation of 90%.
Working closely and proactively with all aviation stakeholders, Aveillant provides tailored technical mitigation solutions that enable the aviation and wind energy sectors to work together to achieve acceptable mutual operational interoperability. The operational and business value, as well as the flexibility, of Aveillant’s 3D Holographic Radar™ mitigation solution is that it can be implemented very quickly at any point during the life cycle of a wind farm development.
In the case of the Locheport wind development, Aveillant is ready to support both the MoD and the North Uist Community Trust, should the wind turbines create unacceptable operational impact on the radar once up and running.
Aveillant is a UK technology company, spun off from Cambridge Consultants in October 2011. Cambridge Consultant’s spin-offs have a track record of success, generating a combined market value in excess of £1.5bn and more than 3,000 new jobs.
Aveillant’s founding team first started working with radar in 1980 and has been developing its capability ever since. They initially focused on short range radar systems specifically designed to provide maximum information on targets in a volume of interest – rather than simply detecting objects that are as far away as possible.