92nd American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting (January 22-26, 2012)

Tuesday, 24 January 2012: 4:15 PM
Understanding Radar Echoes From Wind Turbines and How to Mitigate the Impact on Radar
Room 357 (New Orleans Convention Center )
Svetlana Bachmann, Lockheed Martin, Syracuse, NY; and R. Monson, B. Perfetti, J. Zheng, and M. Kaveh

Poster PDF (1.2 MB)

Wind turbines of conventional shape (consisting of a tower, nacelle on top of the tower and rotating blades extending outward from the nacelle) corrupt radar returns from targets of interest in any radar, and weather radar is no exception. The negative impact is due to both the obstruction caused by the massive turbine structure as well as the blade rotation induced by the wind. The obstruction not only blocks sections of the radar beam from propagating, but also creates a bad reflection with a specific identifiable signature. The rotation contributes to a set of bad reflections with multiple intermingled signatures. Sometimes the echoes from wind turbines are so significant and complicated that the resulting radar return must be completely discarded. At other times, the useful signal could be extracted if appropriate mitigation approaches are applied. The percent of degradation to a radar signal brought about by the mitigation for wind farms, varies for different radar types (frequency bands, beam shapes, thresholds, etc.). It also varies for the same radar depending on the atmospheric conditions for wave propagation, beam geometry, scanning strategy, and polarization. Clearly the distance between radar and a wind turbine is also a very important factor. We present a recipe that could be used to develop mitigation strategies and that may help in understanding the interaction between wind turbine and radar. This work was supported by the US Department of Energy Grant # DE-EE0002980.

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