ScottishPower Renewables and Aveillant on Offshore Wind Radar Watch

ScottishPower Renewables has partnered with Cambridge-based Aveillant, part of the Thales Group, to test a new radar system that aims to safeguard the UK’s offshore wind industry.

Rapid growth in offshore wind technology means that much larger and more powerful wind turbines are set to be installed in the waters around the UK in the coming years, ScottishPower Renewables said.

Now with ‘next generation’ offshore projects considering wind turbines with tip heights upwards of 250 metres, it is a recognised by the renewable energy industry that these projects could interfere with Ministry of Defence (MoD) radar coverage and civilian aviation radar.

Larger blades and taller structures can cause ‘clutter’ and ‘shadowing’ with existing radar technology. It is estimated that as much as 10GW of projects currently in planning are at risk of MoD objections, with future projects beyond this also at risk.

A ‘rotating radar’ is the predominant technology used in the UK today. This technology is unable to easily distinguish between moving turbine blades and other objects such as drones and aircraft. Rotating radars lose sight of the ‘target’ on each rotation, and have to reacquire the ‘target’ each time.

ScottishPower Renewables has been working with Aveillant to find a solution that will satisfy MoD concerns, and an agreement was signed on 18 July at the Farnborough Air Show to develop a pioneering new system.

The Aveillant Holographic Radar is a non-rotating, two-dimensional ‘staring’ array which produces a full three-dimensional picture of the covered volume of airspace. The system uses algorithms to recognise what it sees, wind turbines, aircraft and, in other applications, drones, and provides a ‘clutter-free’ picture to the radar operator. Holographic Radar spends 100% ‘time on target’ – continuously and simultaneously monitoring all the airspace it can see, the companies said.

Dr Dominic Walker, Chief Executive Officer at Aveillant said: “The Aveillant Holographic Radar technology provides a new solution to a very important problem, and could ultimately have a direct impact on the amount of offshore wind power produced in the UK. It is great to see a real commitment to innovation from leaders in the industry such as ScottishPower Renewables.”

It is proposed that an extended range Aveillant radar will be tested in Northamptonshire within the next 9 months, and the results will be shared with the MoD. Further tests on the east coast of England will be planned soon after. If successful, the technology could be applied to future offshore wind projects in the UK, with global export opportunities to other countries around the world with offshore wind ambitions.

“Offshore wind has grown so quickly, and technology has advanced so far, that we are encountering issues now that were not anticipated to be a problem for many years. It is very important that we work closely with the MoD and other aviation bodies to ensure that the UK’s global lead in the offshore wind industry is maintained, and the Government’s carbon reduction plans can be achieved,” Jonathan Cole, Managing Director of Offshore Wind at ScottishPower Renewables, said.

“The Aveillant technology is unique, and we are confident that the trial will lead to a system that satisfies the MoD’s concerns. Our industry has continually shown it is capable of innovating to meet the challenges we have been set, and radar is the next big issue that we need to address.”



wind_week-69 wind_week-122 wind_week-157 wind_week-191 wind_week-16 OrbisEnergy OrbisEnergy 50sqm office Conference Room- Theatre style layout

Upcoming Events

The Team

Katie Snell

Having worked within the property department for 9 years, I have had the pleasure of working within the majority of the Nwes sites in the Norfolk and Waveney area. For the last 2.5 years I have been based at OrbisEnergy and more recently as Senior Coordinator overlooking the renewable hub and team.

Devon Mills

Devon has joined the team at OrbisEnergy as an Administration Coordinator in November 2014 and more recently a Centre Coordinator in January 2016. Having previously worked within various customer service roles she is pleased to be able to apply her skills and knowledge to her position at OrbisEnergy.

She is keen to build a strong understanding within the Offshore Renewable industry, whilst being able to develop a good mind for business and sales.

Johnathan Reynolds

Johnathan is responsible for all aspects of business and supply chain development for the flagship innovation and incubation centre for offshore renewables in the east of England, OrbisEnergy.

Matthew Holden

Matt’s role is Technical Support Manager, his main duty is leading the European Clusters for Offshore Wind Servicing Project (ECOWindS, on behalf of Nwes. In addition to ECOWindS Matt’s role is provide support for the property team and to carry out specific project work.

John Balch

John is Managing Director of Nautilus, Director of Nwes and Hub Director of OrbisEnergy and Beacon Innovation Centre. He is a mechanical engineer and has broad experience gained over 40 years in the international offshore industry.

  • loading tweets...