Wind Turbines and Impact on Radar Returns
Wind turbines located near a radar installation can significantly interfere with the ability of the radar to operate properly. Remcom has used our tools and expertise in radar scattering to perform a number of government-funded and internal research efforts into the impact that wind turbines and wind farms have on radar returns for Air Traffic Control (ATC) radar, early warning radar, weather radar, and instrumentation radar.
Our work and experience have included:
- Estimation of returns from wind turbines, including Doppler and RCS
- Collaborative work with partners to determine the impact of wind turbine scattering on radar signal processing, aircraft detection, and tracking
- Investigation of the effects of multipath between the tower and blades
- Investigation of the effects of blade shape, material properties, and construction on returns
- Prediction of the loss due to shadowing of aircraft from nearby turbines
In this example, the impacts of a lightning strike on a simplified wind turbine are compared for different strike locations by comparing the magnetic fields created inside the nacelle.
Wind turbines located near a radar installation can significantly interfere with the ability of the radar to operate properly. Remcom has performed a number of research efforts into the impact that wind turbines and wind farms have on radar returns for Air Traffic Control (ATC) radar, early warning radar, weather radar, and instrumentation radar. Highlights of some of these effects and relevant samples and white papers are provided in this brief overview.
Radar scattering from a turbine’s moving blades can interfere with Doppler radar systems, producing ghost images. Understanding the scattering properties of a blade helps to mitigate any potential issues. This study compares the radar cross section of a metal turbine blade, a hollow fiberglass turbine blade, and a hollow fiberglass turbine blade with a metal spar using XFdtd.
Wind turbines located near radar installations can significantly interfere with a radar’s ability to detect its intended targets. Remcom’s XGtd software is a high frequency solver capable of calculating the radar cross section of electrically large objects. In this paper, interference from wind turbines is predicted using XGtd simulations.
This short animation shows predicted RCS from an air traffic control radar with an aircraft flying over a wind farm, before and after the static ground clutter (returns from terrain) are filtered out.
Remcom’s XGtd can simulate the propagation paths of fields interacting with two wind turbines in close proximity. XGtd then generates a movie that shows the directions and magnitudes of the strongest propagation paths, including multipath occurring between the turbines.