Alternative Energy

Preventing windfarms from interfering with air defence

11th November 2020
Alex Lynn

Cambridge-based Plextek DTS has been named as one of the competition winners under the recent Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) competition: ‘Windfarm Mitigation for UK Air Defence’. The initiative is being supported by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), the Royal Air Force (RAF) and the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl).

The contracts awarded form part of a wider MOD commitment under the Government’s 2019 Offshore Wind Sector Deal, to provide 30% of the UK’s electricity requirements using wind power by 2030, and seek to mitigate the interference that windfarms cause to primary air surveillance radars.

Plextek DTS has been contracted to investigate using the latest state-of-the-art Deep Learning algorithms to compensate for disturbances to radar signals caused by windfarms. If successful, the research could be rapidly exploited to enhance air surveillance capability in the vicinity of existing and future windfarms.

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.”

Dr Aled Catherall, Head of Technology at Plextek DTS said, “The project draws on Plextek-DTS's extensive expertise in both radar and machine learning to address this important challenge. It is also very rewarding to be working on a defence technology that supports greater adoption of green energy sources such as wind turbines.”

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