HARLOW, England, 28 May 2013. Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNLAF) officials needed a technology partner to upgrade four airport surveillance radar sites following the implementation of the first Wind Farm Mitigation upgrade at RNLAF's Woensdrecht Air Base. They found their partner in Raytheon (NYSE: RTN).
RNLAF issued a contract to Raytheon for an airport surveillance radar upgrade that includes technology enhancements such as WiMax interference filtering (4G filtration). The upgrade is expected to be completed within the next 12 to 15 months.
Wind turbines' rotating blades generate large, moving, false targets that can deluge radars, rendering it difficult for controllers to discriminate between false and genuine aircraft targets. "This program represents the culmination of nearly three years of research and development effort to upgrade the complete air traffic control radar system with technology to mitigate the adverse effects on radar performance caused by wind turbines,” affirms Richard Daniel, managing director of Raytheon UK's Defense and Air Traffic Management business. “We are delighted with the progress made so far, and look forward to working with the Royal Netherlands Air Force across their remaining sites."
The upgrade, a combination of hardware and software changes to the primary surveillance radar system, nullify the presence of wind turbines and significantly improve the probability of detection of aircraft targets, both above and beyond wind farms. The application of this technology at Woensdrecht facilitates the extension of a nearby wind farm without impacting flying operations at the base.
Having demonstrated high detection probabilities in the Netherlands, Raytheon is now in discussions with customers in Europe, the United States, and Canada for the deployment of this suite of mitigation solutions.