in Aerospace / Defence / Security / Space

DASA and BEIS launch Phase 2 of Windfarm Mitigation for UK Air Defence

Posted 30 April 2021 · Add Comment

The Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) have launched Phase 2 of the Windfarm Mitigation for UK Air Defence competition.

Image courtesy DASA 

Total funding of up to £3.6 million over two financial years is available for Phase 2 of the competition, from which DASA expect to fund 5-6 projects with contracts of up to £600K each.

The closing date of Phase 2 is 15th June 2021.

The competition is funded by the BEIS Net Zero Innovation Portfolio and is undertaken in partnership with the Royal Air Force (RAF), the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) and DASA.

The situation: Windfarms and their impact on air surveillance
Offshore Wind in the United Kingdom (UK) is crucial for domestic energy demands and decreasing the cost of low-carbon generation technology. To achieve Net Zero targets outlined by Her Majesty’s Government (HMG), the UK will need additional offshore windfarms around the UK, both fixed bottom structures and floating structures.

However, the continued development of wind turbine sites has the potential to cause several negative effects for military air defence and air traffic control systems.

The challenges: How windfarms can be detrimental to radar capability
Windfarms may curtail the Royal Air Force’s (RAF) ability to detect incoming, low flying aircraft threats because:

  • wind turbines that are within radar line-of-sight can comprise reflections from both the static and moving elements
  • rotating turbine blades impart a Doppler shift on a reflection that cannot be easily removed, and also mimics the signals of fast moving aircraft
  • current mitigation methodologies do not meet the expected operational requirements
  • mitigations applied to civilian radar systems cannot apply to MOD primary surveillance radar assets
  • future windfarms will increase in size and number, with turbine blades expecting to reach a length over 130 metres, while also moving at an increased speed

What does this mean?
Consider a low flying object near a windfarm. The ability to detect and track the object may be disrupted because of excessive radar clutter.

Or consider a fast flying jet making a sharp turn over a windfarm. The entry trajectory may not match the exit trajectory due to the presence of windfarm radar clutter, inhibiting surveillance capability. Being able to confirm that signals apply to the same object is of paramount importance.

This is where the help of industry is required
Innovations DASA are looking for:

  • alternative technologies that could reduce radar clutter caused by offshore windfarms
  • improvements to the probability of intruder detection
  • the capability to fill or remove gaps in radar coverage
  • alternatives to radar
  • solutions to the cumulative effect of windfarm development
  • metasurfaces applied to, or alterations to the design of, the wind turbines
  • alterations to the initial radar signal or radar station or processing of the return

It is not compulsory to have been involved in Phase 1 of this competition to apply for Phase 2 however DASA encourages entrants to be aware of the previous competition and the bids they funded. It is anticipated that work for this phase will reach higher maturity than work funded in Phase 1.

For more information about this Phase, see the competition document .

Take the survey
For this phase DASA are encouraging collaboration between suppliers. To support this they have a short survey to collect details of suppliers who wish to explore collaboration possibilities. This list will then be circulated to all those who have signed up on a weekly basis.

The competition will close at midday BST on 17th June 2021.

For full competition document, click here


Other Stories
Latest News

UK Chinook fleet to be modernised

A £1.4 billion contract to modernise the Chinook fleet over the next 10 years has been agreed, which will see British forces benefit from 14 of the latest iconic heavy-lift helicopters.

Rolls-Royce to supply mtu generator sets for new US Navy frigate

Rolls-Royce has been selected to supply its mtu naval generator sets for phase one of the US Navy’s Constellation (FFG-62) class frigate programme, previously known as the FFG(X) programme.

VTST seeks environmental expert

The Vulcan to the Sky Trust (VTST) charity is seeking to appoint an environmental expert, as a new Trustee, to its board.

UK Government backs Air Architecture for air taxis and drones

Urban-Air Port have announced a partnership with Altitude Angel and Safeguard Vertiports to design safe, clean and connected Air Architecture for future electric air taxis and autonomous logistics drones.

Teledyne thermoplastic processing investment supported by NCC

Advanced composites manufacturer Teledyne CML Composites, has completed a significant investment in a new thermoplastic processing cell developed in conjunction with the UK’s National Composites Centre (NCC).

SSTL signs up LatConnect 60 for high resolution EO data

Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL) has signed a contract with LatConnect 60, based in Australia, to provide high resolution optical data from the SSTL S1-4, an Earth observation (EO) satellite which was launched in September 2018.

DSEI sk1602170921
See us at
RAF Museum BTSpace Comm Expo BTDSEI bt1602170921