Raytheon was selected by the Netherlands Ministry of Defence to upgrade the air traffic control radar system at the Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNLAF) base in the town of Woensdrecht with technology to mitigate the adverse effects on radar performance caused by wind turbines.
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Raytheon will implement the modification by the end of 2012. It will be the first operational implementation of technology to safely distinguish actual aircraft from false readings.
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.
The changes nullify the presence of wind turbines and 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.
“Raytheon’s solution will enable the RNLAF and the energy provider to continue to operate in harmony,” said Ed Sullivan, surveillance director for Raytheon’s Network Centric Systems business. “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.”
The movement to cleaner energy sources has resulted in worldwide deployment of a large number of wind turbine farms. Raytheon has been applying its radar and signal data processing expertise to develop and implement solutions that allow wind turbines to be safely located near radar facilities.
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