An octocopter equipped with instruments to measure interference between electric installations and radars

UAV predicts how wind farms disrupt air-traffic control

A device measuring interference between electric installations and radar instruments has been developed by German researchers.

Either hanging from a helicopter or carried by a small UAV, the system measures the strength of the electric field as well as the signal of radars used in meteorology, defence or air-traffic control.

The team from the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB), together with FCS Flight Calibration Services GmbH from Braunschweig, Germany, believes their device could help in early stages of planning new wind farms.

Previously, it has been proved radar waves can be scattered after hitting rotor blades of windmills in large wind farms. Such interference frequently results in the radar signal being disrupted to such extent it turns out erroneous information.

A helicopter carrying the instrument Several wind energy projects have recently been put on hold as the operators of neighbouring radar facilities refused to rely on simulation models to prove the two technologies can coexist undisturbed side by side.

The new device, consisting of an antenna and a receiver system, uses precise navigation data provided through the GPS constellation and its European EGNOS reinforcement.

Providing real-time data, the system has already demonstrated the ability to measure the strength of the electromagnetic field at any random location in space and save the measured data as well as the exact location with a very high sampling rate.

Data acquired by the system can subsequently be fed into computer models to increase their accuracy in predicting the level of interference between radar systems and foreseen wind farms.

Using the UAV technology, the teams would like to survey existing wind farms out of reach of manned helicopters.


If you want to learn more about the future of unmanned aerial systems, watch our video below: 


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