Wind Turbine Clutter Mitigation for Terminal Air Traffic Control (ATC) Radars

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA8650-13-C-1597
Agency Tracking Number: F121-144-1412
Amount: $748,742.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2013
Solicitation Year: 2012
Solicitation Topic Code: AF121-144
Solicitation Number: 2012.1
Small Business Information
600 West Cummings Park, Suite 6500, Woburn, MA, -
DUNS: 964928464
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Gil Raz
 Senior Member of Technica
 (781) 503-3298
Business Contact
 Melinda Wood
Title: Director, Business Operat
Phone: (603) 718-9800
Research Institution
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.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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