UK seeks to reduce wind farm impact on air defence radar system

29 October 2020 (Last Updated October 29th, 2020 11:38)

The UK Ministry of Defence’s (MoD) Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) has awarded contracts to five companies to develop technologies that will eliminate offshore wind farms’ interference on air defence radar system.

UK seeks to reduce wind farm impact on air defence radar system
New innovative research to reduce windfarms’ impact on UK air defence radar system. Credit: Ben Kerckx from Pixabay.

The UK Ministry of Defence’s (MoD) Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) has awarded contracts to five companies to develop technologies that will eliminate offshore wind farms’ interference on air defence radar system.

The contracts follow an investment worth £2m by the UK Government. The companies are Thales, QinetiQ, Saab, TWI and Plextek DTS.

The innovation competition is led by the MoD’s DASA on behalf of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), the Royal Air Force (RAF), and the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl).

Defence Minister Jeremy Quin said: “We want more offshore wind farms to help deliver our ambitious environmental agenda while retaining the protection that radar provides.

“This is a great step forward in achieving this goal and shows defence’s determination to support sustainability and deliver our green goals for Britain.”

The contracts were awarded as part of the department’s commitment to the 2019 Offshore Wind Sector Deal of the UK Government.

Thales will partner with the University of Birmingham and SMEs to develop surveillance to reduce the wind farm ‘clutter’, while Saab will use artificial intelligence and doppler filtering to develop a radar mitigation system.

QinetiQ will develop two proposals. In the first method, it will use new materials to prevent the distortion of the radar, while the second method will develop radar-absorbing materials that can be installed on offshore wind turbines.

TWI will be responsible for the development of new methods to create conductive coating that will absorb radar for turbine blades, in collaboration with the Centre for Metamaterial Research and Innovation of University of Exeter.

Plextek DTS will develop methods to mitigate the impact of wind farms on radar data.