Sunday, November 09, 2008

Wind Farms and Radar

The Economist writes about Wind farms and aircraft and describes a problem I hadn't heard of before.

"Wind farms are controversial. Some people think they are an excellent way to generate green electricity whereas others reckon they are a blot on the landscape and a danger to birds. Such arguments aside, aviation safety is one of the main reasons why plans to build wind farms are held up. The concern is that they interfere with the radar used in air-traffic control. Some people even argue that they could be used as cover by enemy aircraft in time of war. In Britain such worries have caused the shelving or refusal of more than 40 proposed wind farms. Now, however, an Anglo-American company called Cambridge Consultants thinks it has come up with a snazzy way of solving the problem. It calls its invention holographic-infill radar."


Karl said...

This came up over the Cape Cod wind farm - specifically that the strategic border control radar would be effected. The DoD studied it and concluded there was no significant impact. The military radar may have more resolution than normal aviation radars though.

I always thought they should just use stealth technology on the turbine blades if they were still concerned.

Anonymous said...

Somehow, it is hard for me to comprehend how wind turbines, at best, 300 feet high, sitting in the plains of Texas, Oklahoma, and Nebraska are a serious hazard to air traffic control.

It's pretty amazing the crap that people come up with to oppose obvious and necessary solutions to decades old, and in this case, centuries old, problems.

OK, so no wind turbines near major airports....duh.

Of course if you use stealth technology for the blades then the same morons would say, the wind turbines can't be seen so well on radar....can't have that now can we.