The Challenge

Radars and wind turbines: in short, primary radars think wind turbines 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.

Applies to All Rotating Radar

Rotating Radar have limited time on target, resulting in insufficient target data to characterise targets (and so distinguish between wind turbines & aircraft)

MOD objects to wind turbines in radar line of sight

On grounds that wind turbine radar interference degrades MoD Air Defence and Air Traffic Control capability and that wind turbines continue to be “new” features in the built environment

This is the MOD radar challenge for UK offshore wind – what this maps says is that MOD is more likely than not to object to any wind turbine in the red zones – this is where most of the UK’s offshore wind capacity resides

The story so far in respect of MoD Air Defence Radar concerns

August 2002
January & May 2005
August 2006
November 2007
August 2008
September 2008
April 2010
September 2011 – July 2012
November 2013
September 2015
July 2016
September 2017
August 2018

Now is the time for action – both MOD and the wind industry need a solution – to enable MOD AD radar and wind turbines to co-exist