Announcement: Wind Farms and Radar

17 Sep 2014 - 09:45

We are delighted to announce that Prof Tony Brown of the University of Manchester in the UK will be giving a talk next week Monday, about a particularly topical issue: The Impact of Wind Farms on Radar Performance.

Details of the Talk

Presenter: Prof. Tony Brown

Affiliation: Head of the School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering and Chair in Communication Engineering at the University of Manchester, UK

Date: Monday 22nd September 2014

Location: 6th Floor Seminar Room, UCT Menzies Building

Time: 15h00 to 16h00


The impact of wind farms on many types of radar system has been a major factor in limiting the approval to deploy wind farms in the UK and elsewhere. Operational experience and field trials show that wind farms located within the line of sight of radar can cause interference with the radar performance, confusing trackers and affecting overall target detection.

Due the large size of a single turbine (which have a blade length of up to 120m), prediction of the impact can be demanding. Moreover, when a full wind farm is considered, it may also be essential to predict the interactions between all the wind, and indeed potentially with the local terrain. Given that wind farms can be made up of several hundred wind turbines, the complexity is obvious.

The lecture will outline the electromagnetic simulation of these large and complex structures, together with an overview of the types of radars used in aviation and marine navigation. It will then identify the cause of the interference caused by wind turbines, identifying the main scattering characteristics of the turbine as an individual entity and the wind farm in totality. Some of the available mitigation measures will also be mentioned with their potential benefits and limitations


Professor Tony Brown is Head of the School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering and holds the Chair in Communication Engineering at the University of Manchester, UK.

Professor Brown is heavily involved in research in radar systems, antennas, propagation, wireless communications and radio astronomy instrumentation. Recent examples include research into the impact of wind farms on radar performance and the design of extremely large multi-octave phased arrays for the Square Kilometer Array radio telescope.

Tony has acted as an international consultant on marine and air safety related radar systems (including Vessel Traffic Radar) for government authorities in Canada, UK, USA, Malaysia and elsewhere. A past member of the EUROCAE WG41 standards working group (on airport surface movement radar), he has served on numerous international committees, including being a past member of the Technical Advisory Commission (TAC) to the Federal Communication Commission (USA), is a UK representative to the EU-COST ASSIST initiative, and has chaired the European Radar Conference in 2011.

Tony is a Fellow of the Institute of Engineering Technology and the Institution of Mathematics and its Applications, a Senior Member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (USA) and a Member of the Institute of Directors. He joined academia in 2003 after a 30-year industrial career, including senior Board level positions. Tony is retained as (part-time) Chairman of Easat Antennas Ltd.

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