Research Begins On Radar-Friendly Technology For Offshore Wind Farms

As part of a £2m Government investment, five companies have been handed contracts to develop "cutting-edge" technologies.

Research to develop technology that makes sure future offshore wind farms do not interfere with radar is underway after £2m of Government investment.

By guaranteeing essential defence communications are not affected, more offshore wind farms can be built without potentially compromising national security, the Ministry of Defence (MOD) said.

Contracts have been awarded to companies Thales, QinetiQ, Saab, TWI and Plextek DTS to fast-track their ideas for technologies that could reduce the impact of wind farms on the UK's air defence radar system.

Some of the ideas put forward include using artificial intelligence and radar-absorbing materials.

Wing Commander Helena Ramsden, Air Capability Strategy, Air Command, said: "This is a positive first step in getting cutting-edge innovation off the ground to harness the best technology from the brightest minds in the country.

"We are committed to keeping the skies above the UK safe from aerial threats whilst accelerating crucial work to allow the nation to do more to combat climate change."

The MOD's Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) is spearheading the innovation competition on behalf of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the RAF and the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL).

DASA first launched the Wind farm Mitigation for UK Air Defence competition in March.

The innovation contracts are part of the MOD’s contribution to the Government’s 2019 Offshore Wind Sector Deal which sets wind power to fuel 30% of the UK’s electricity energy needs by 2030.

Cover image: MOD.