We have applied our vast experience in stealth technologies to the wind farm sector. Working alongside EDF Energies Nouvelles and turbine manufacturer Vestas, we integrated an innovative material that is applied without structural change to wind turbines to reduce their radar signature by up to 99%. This technology enabled France’s largest wind farm to be installed without significant interference to the weather radar located nearby.
Around the world it is increasingly difficult to find suitable areas for the development of wind energy. In France, around 80% of wind farm planning applications are currently refused if they are near to French weather radars. This is due to the interference caused by wind turbines to radar measurements. The signals reflecting off the tower and moving blades are indistinguishable to the radar from objects such as rain or hail that they are designed to detect.
We were able to utilise years of stealth expertise and research to develop lightweight, radar absorbing materials that could integrate with the turbines. This innovative solution was a world first, and demonstrated excellent enhancement and application of what was originally defence technology.
Radar impact assessment modelling, prototype manufacturing and testing using our multiband portable radar confirmed that our stealth solution could be integrated into the turbines without significantly altering their physical characteristics or manufacturing process.
Our innovative patented technology is enhanced with a well-established material supply chain, and represents a breakthrough for the wind energy sector. Radar weather stations are just one example of a system that could be detrimentally impacted by wind farms; other objections come from military and airfields where radar is essential – our technology can diminish this threat by making the apparent radar signature size of the turbine much smaller, giving stealth wind turbines a chance to thrive in what were previously unobtainable areas, and coexist with existing facilities.