Holographic Radar Cuts Wind-Farm Clutter

Oct. 29, 2012
This 3D Holographic Radar may become the new standard for addressing the impact of wind turbines on aviation safety and airfield Primary Surveillance Radar.

To meet the rising demand for green energy, wind farms should be growing and expanding. Unfortunately, such growth has been limited because of the interference that wind turbines have on local air-traffic-control (ATC) radars. Although many proposals have sought to mitigate this interference, no reliable, zero-degradation solution currently exists. In hopes of providing a better answer, Saab Sensis Corp. and Aveillant, a Cambridge Consultants spinout, are demonstrating an end-to-end, wind-farm radar-clutter-removal solution. This solution can be integrated with operational ATC systems.

The goal of this program is to show that seamless, clutter-free ATC surveillance data from non-cooperating targets can be produced using Aveillant’s 3D Holographic Radar and existing Primary Surveillance Radar (PSR). Aveillant’s Holographic Radar clearly distinguishes between moving objects with differing behaviors and 3D trajectories. Unlike the current generation of ATC radars, which scan a narrow beam using the familiar rotating antenna, the Holographic Radar looks in all directions at once. In addition, the solution continuously measures the dynamic characteristics of each target. As a result, it sees both wind turbines and aircraft and can tell the difference between the two.

Saab Sensis’ fusion technology combines primary-plot-extracted data from the local airport PSR with either the co-mounted Secondary Surveillance Radar (SSR; when operating in combiner mode) or with a remote asynchronous SSR site (when operating in Assignor mode). In the demonstration, for example, it is using both the 3D Holographic Radar and data provided by NATS from Glasgow International Airport’s PSR. Consequently, the fusion technology will generate a combined output in the common ASTERIX ATM format.

A secondary demonstration will incorporate Saab Sensis’ Wide Area Multilateration (WAM) data with PSR and Holographic Radar data to illustrate the ability to use both cooperative and non-cooperative surveillance sources. WAM uses a distributed system of non-rotating sensors, which triangulate an aircraft’s position based on transponder signals—either passively or through interrogation, providing a once-per-second update rate. Aveillant has recently deployed its system at Cambridge Airport in the UK, which provides a long-term proving ground to optimize the technology.

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