You are here

Technology to mitigate wind turbine effects on radar in the Netherlands

First operational implementation of technology to safely distinguish aircraft from false readings

The technology will mitigate the effects wind turbines cause on radar
The technology will mitigate the adverse effects wind turbines cause on radar performance of air traffic control systems

Air traffic control radar technology at the Royal Netherlands Air Force base is being upgraded to mitigate the adverse effects on radar performance caused by wind turbines. This is the first operational implementation of technology to safely distinguish aircraft from false readings.

The Netherlands Ministry of Defence has chosen US defence technology firm Raytheon company to upgrade the air traffic control radar system at the Royal Netherlands Air Force base. Raytheon will implement the modification by the end of 2012, the first operational implementation of this technology.

Wind turbines' rotating blades generate large, moving, false targets that can deluge radars, rendering it difficult for controllers to discriminate between false and genuine aircraft targets. The upgrade comes via a combination of hardware and software changes to the primary surveillance radar system.

These changes nullify the presence of wind turbines and significantly improve the probability of detection of aircraft targets, both above and beyond wind farms. The application of this technology at Woensdrecht will facilitate the extension of a nearby wind farm without any impact upon flying operations at the base.

Ed Sullivan, surveillance director for Raytheon's Network Centric Systems business, said: “Raytheon's solution will enable the Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNLAF) and the energy provider to continue to operate in harmony. The elimination of interference caused by the wind turbines supports the RNLAF in carrying out its mission safely and securely, while the wind farm can continue to generate clean and affordable energy.”

Improving wind farm operations will be one of the many topics discussed at BigSwitch Offshore Wind. The international event, which Renewable Energy Technology (RET) is sponsoring, is taking place in Glasgow on 26th and 27th June. It aims to advance technological developments across global offshore wind by encouraging the European renewable energy industry to work with key delegations from the world’s biggest emerging markets, including China and India, as well as the US. For more information on the event, please email RET Editor Heath Reidy at heath.reidy@bric.com.