Among the many factors keeping wind power projects from getting their legs is the annoying and sometimes dangerous tendency for moving wind turbines to mimic aircraft on an air traffic controller's radar screen. The problem has led to the stalling of some wind projects and criticism of others, criticism that isn't helping the larger roll out of renewable energy resources. But startup Aveillant has a technological fix that could get things rolling again: 3-D holographic radar that can spot even small aircraft flying among wind turbines.
Traditional radar works by sending out a rotating radar beam that sweeps 360 degrees, scanning for objects in the air and registering their positions on each pass. Holographic radar doesn't scan, but rather maintains full 360-degree 3-D tracking at all times. As such, it can readily distinguish between a stationary wind turbine and a moving aircraft. And if deployed near existing and potential wind turbine sites, it could be the difference not only between safety and tragedy, but also between a wind project getting wrapped up in red tape and moving forward.
How well does all of this work? We're not really sure. But the Department of Defense seems to think it works pretty well. Aveillant is a spin-out from Cambridge Consultants, which has been using 3-D holographic radar systems to help the Navy improve the accuracy of its artillery target practice while vastly reducing costs (if you can actually see where a shell lands via radar, you don't have to use live rounds or so many dummy targets). The U.K.'s Aviation Management Board has also selected the technology as a reliable radar fill-in solution.
Considering the U.S. and the U.K. are the two countries having the biggest problems with wind turbines conflicting with air traffic control, those endorsements are pretty important.
Dude popsci..... way too many ads these days
Farming, Windmills and 3D Radar, I LOVE IT!
I want, I love, I want some more of it!
I'll bet money that they'll discover a problem with large scale windfarms...that they screw with local ecosystems or something.
When you speak of the local ecosystems, what time frame are you speaking of; the ecosystem of 100 years ago, 200, 500, 1000, 5000, 0r 10000? What is most important; protecting the little chipmunk or a human? Yes the ecosystem does include bugs, spiders, variety of animals, the chipmunk and man, but do you wish for man to loose in this goal? I am with you! I want to save all the creators of the Earth, but I will always save my fellow man first!
We are a modern society. If we wish the earth to live a natural life, then it is for man's destiny to leave Earth and venture to outer space and establish him there to be safe and no longer harm MOTHER EARTH!
Humanities destiny is beyond Earth, toward the Moon and Outer Space. We are a dominant animal species and if we stay on Earth, we will surely kill our Mother Earth!
We have to leave Mother Earth; we are like children and now it's time to leave; it is a necessity.
This story rings false; is contains far too much redundancy.
*2D analog radar can be confused by wind farms; and a lot of other things.
*2D digital radar can apply filters and ignore broad types of 'non aircraft' returns (too slow, too low, everything in this box, etc.)
*3D radar can also filter for altitude, whether analog or digital
*Secondary radar (transponders) should also instantly eliminate confusion. Either ignore returns without transponders or give the wind farms 'this is not an aircraft' transponders.
'Constant' coverage is also fundimentally incompatible with basic radar theory. You can have a single curved or multiple flat phased arrays (of various kinds) but you still need to send out pings and allow the ping time to return.
Holographic simply seems redundant.
We've been able to do this for decades, and militaries have deployed these systems for decades, but never for the civilian market. Too expensive, and too classified. Both are unlikely to change in the near future.
I"m curious what this type of radar will do to stealth tech.
I agree the Holographic 3D radar thing seems redundant or just a waste of time. We should start using existing wind turbine technology that works (ie. vortex wind funnel turbine, or the cube, etc) instead of 1960 technology.
Radar problem... solved
Dead Birds and Bats problem ...solved
Noise and flickering light problem... solved.