United Kingdom Defense Seeks Innovative solutions to Mitigate effects of Offshore Windfarms
Through the Joint Air Defence and Offshore Wind Task Force, the MOD is working on procuring mitigation solutions for the adverse impacts of offshore windfarms on Air Defense that will enable the next generation of large-scale offshore windfarms to be built in the UK that will become operational from 2025 and beyond. The MOD plans to spend up to $17 million on innovative proposals submitted by industry and academia that will enable the long-term co-existence of Air Defense and offshore wind.
Offshore Windfarms will play an increasingly critical role in the UK’s renewable energy supply to enable the Net Zero ambitions. UK offshore windfarm installations adversely impact the quality of data obtained from the long-range Primary Surveillance Radars, which are the backbone of the UK’s Air Defense detection capability. A technological solution, or combination of solutions, is needed by the MOD to enable the long-term co-existence of windfarms and Air Defense and enable the deployment of additional offshore windfarms.
The MOD is creating a program to fund proposals to help to find solutions that will enable the long-term co-existence of Air Defense and offshore wind. The aims of the program are as follows:
- To accelerate the development of windfarm mitigation technologies across radar, stealthy materials, and alternative tracking technologies and to,
- disseminate the findings to support the decision-making on further development of the most promising technologies and potential deployment at scale.
The technologies the MOD are interested in can be broadly categorized into the following three areas:
- Signal processing or an alternative/supplementary radar to mitigate the impact of the windfarm,
- stealthy materials to reduce the radar signal returned from wind turbines, and
- alternative surveillance methods to monitor the airspace.
The program will seek the following technologies to be modelled:
- Radar approaches: enhanced signal processing to reduce the impact of windfarm clutter and / or additional radars to provide enhanced cover,
- materials approaches: model the impact of a proposed radar absorbing material, including the effects of directionality, bandwidth and absorption,
- alternative tracking approaches: model the effects of supplementary sensors and how these might be incorporated into an integrated picture.
If you would like to submit a proposal that supports the coexistence of offshore windfarms and UK Air Defense, or for information on other opportunities in the UK defense and security market, don’t hesitate to get in touch with PJ Menner at the U.S. Embassy London.