Aviation radars are designed to show moving objects, such as aircrafts, and to filter out anything stationary. Whilst the turbine mast does not move, the spinning motion of the blades can sometimes appear as clutter on the radar screen and may interfere with air traffic control. Consequently, onshore wind turbines, big or small, can be refused planning permission due to objections from UK airports or the Ministry of Defence (MoD).
Significant progress is now being made as NATS and aerospace business Terma have doubled up and developed the Scanter 4002 transceiver. This system is capable of mitigating the effects of wind turbines, ie recognising they are stationary objects, and can actually detect aircrafts through onshore wind farm locations such as tracking helicopters between turbines.
As a developer of wind sites, Fine Energy is very keen to see how this system progresses and we appreciate the efforts being made to ensure civil airports and wind turbines can coexist.