Wind Farm Mitigation


Raytheon UK's wind farm mitigation solution eradicates the detrimental effect of wind turbines on air traffic control radar, providing improved safety for air travel while enabling future developments for sustainable wind energy.

The benefits of wind energy are clear, but the potential hazards that wind turbines can cause are less obvious — radar blind zones, missed detections and a high false alarm rate. Rotating turbine blades look like valid aircraft signals to the primary radars used by air traffic control, causing significant interference.

A world leader in Air Traffic Management radar technologies, Raytheon UK’s Advanced Signal Data Processor (ASDP) technology solution comprises four key enhancements to the RF and PSR signal processing chain. These provide powerful mitigation effects to form a line of defence against wind turbine interference.

Raytheon's system features an intelligent target tracker and is based on a combination of discrimination techniques applied at the pre-detection, detection and post-detection states of the radar signal processing chain. The tracker identifies areas of high clutter and high wind turbine activity, then modifies processing algorithms to maximise the likelihood of preserving real targets and rejecting false ones.

System capability includes:

  • Can be adapted to the specific operational environment
  • Nullifies the presence of wind turbines
  • Significantly improves probability of detection of aircraft targets, both above and beyond wind turbines
  • Designed for retrofit to existing ATC primary surveillance radars and upgrade to new ATC surveillance radar installations
  • Significant performance gains and better detection thresholds especially in high-clutter areas

Raytheon's technology enables wind farms to be located closer to radar facilities without any adverse impact on flying operations. By facilitating more efficient flight routes and increased renewable energy opportunities, Raytheon's solution is thus helping to lower carbon dioxide emissions.

Designed for both defence and civil aviation agencies, Raytheon's wind farm mitigation system has been delivered to multiple global customers. Trials and demonstrations have been conducted for UK National Air Traffic Services (NATS), the Federal Aviation Admininistration and the U.S. Department of Defense. Most recently, Raytheon UK was contracted by the Dutch Ministry of Defence to upgrade its air traffic control radar system at the Royal Netherlands Air Force base at Woensdrecht. The technology enhancements include WiMax interference filtering (4g filtration).