Wind Turbine Clutter Mitigation for Terminal Air Traffic Control (ATC) Radars
ABSTRACT: Wind-turbine induced clutter is currently affecting air surveillance radar installations worldwide. The growing need for renewable energy sources will likely drive wind farm construction rates to increase over time. Energy department estimates indicate 2.3% of the current US electric energy supply is supplied by wind and estimates this to rise to 20% by 2030, representing an increase of nearly 10x the number of wind turbines. Wind-turbine induced clutter is fundamentally different from typical ground clutter in that the rotating turbines appear Doppler shifted to the radar in the same way as airborne moving targets. Moreover, wind farms present the radar system with a relatively high density of false targets. STR"s proposed approach to wind-turbine induced clutter mitigation is based on characterization of the clutter followed by adaptive filtering to simultaneously suppress the clutter and preserve target responses. This approach is designed to address the problems of multiple turbines in a single range cell as well as short CPI and asynchronous scanning. The Phase 1 study indicates that the STR approach is well suited for this challenge. Significant clutter reduction while preserving targets was achieved and verified on measured ATC radar data. SINR improvements of over 20 dB were observed. BENEFIT: If the proposed Phase 2 approach is successful a software upgrade path for existing ATC radars will be designed and demonstrated that mitigates wind farm interference. This upgrade will allow for construction of wind farms near ATC radars without concerns for significant performance degradation.
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