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Private Funded Air defence

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Private Funded Air defence

Old 9th Apr 2010, 07:37
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Ecce Homo! Loquitur...
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Private Funded Air defence

I suppose the next is the airlines buying us Typhoons and having their names on the sides? IIRC they did during WWII.....

The Times: Radar deal clears the sky for £7bn offshore wind farm expansion

Energy companies have agreed to pay for a new radar system to allay Ministry of Defence concerns about the threat to national security posed by wind farms. The deal paves the way for a £7 billion investment in offshore wind turbines.

The MoD had objected to five new wind farms off the Norfolk coast, but it withdrew its opposition yesterday after an agreement between the Crown Estate and four energy companies. Plans for 924 wind turbines off the East Coast had alarmed the Royal Air Force, which said that the turbines could cause a security threat by creating blind spots in air defences.

In a landmark deal brokered by Serco, the defence services company, a Lockheed Martin TPS-77 radar system will be installed at Remote Radar Head (RRH) Trimingham in the autumn of next year to coincide with the opening of an offshore wind farm, with 88 turbines, at Sheringham Shoal.

As the number of wind farms has increased, the number of radar blackout zones has also risen. Aircraft passing through the area can disappear in the blackout and air traffic controllers can lose their position. Tests have shown that the Lockheed Martin radar can filter the movement of offshore turbines with other air and seaborne activity.

The £20 million cost of the system will be shared by the Crown Estate (which owns the seabed out to 12 nautical miles from the coastline of the UK), the Department of Energy and Climate Change and four energy companies, which are proposing to build wind farms in the Greater Wash in the next few years. The companies are Scira Offshore Energy, which is behind the Sheringham Shoal farm; Centrica; Warwick Energy; and RWE npower renewables.

Nicola Vaughan, head of aviation at RenewableUK, the trade body, said: “This was a major obstacle to offshore wind farms in the Greater Wash, which has now been lifted.”

Planning applications for four further wind farms, in the line of sight of Trimingham, are expected to be brought forward. If all five farms were developed, the turbines could deliver more than 3,000 megawatts of energy — enough to power 1.7 million homes.
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Old 9th Apr 2010, 09:08
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Unbelievable, isnt it?

I still cant see how the windfarms can create blindspots. They dont move, they are permanent echos. Not to mention the location of the farm is that it would be within the blasted radar overhead anyway. The existing digital AD radars should be able to filter them out.

You're not going to be controlling anything directly near such a site... and incidentally how come the CAA, (if there really is such a problem) hasnt been equally vocal about it?

Because surely if it affects them (as they use radar as well as the military and both rely on each others sensors) and if there is a risk to flight safety then surely we would have heard more about it?

I was speaking to a colleague of mine this morning about it and he recalls a trial in Europe where with a single ATC radar that there were phantom primary and secondary radar plots/tracks generated some distance away from a windfarm, but that was with a single ATC radar, not within areas of overlapping AD radar coverage... there may have been other scenarios, but he was only aware of the one detailed here. But thats not a "hole" in coverage, its what appears to be an inability of the system to process and eliminate false returns. No mention was made of the age of the sensor or any of the processing tools available to its operators, if any.

Cant help but get the feeling that someone is yanking someones chain here and that the episode is turning into a lollipop that licks itself....

"Security Threat by creating blindspots", my @rse.


So, we dont have blindspots following the loss of Saxa Vord and Polestar?


I dont recall anyone badgering for them to be replaced with new sensors that someone else should pay for...


That Tu160 that got to within 20 miles of Hull a couple of years ago.... saw it the whole way, did we?

Pull the other one.

I would like to be proved wrong, but.... given those who are running UKAD at the moment, I somehow doubt it.
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Old 9th Apr 2010, 09:28
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and incidentally how come the CAA, (if there really is such a problem) hasnt been equally vocal about it? Because surely if it affects them (as they use radar as well as the military and both rely on each others sensors)
The vast majority of civil radars are secondary only, hence the rotaing blades at windfarms are not a factor. The military can, and do, use them for as a peacetime supplement, but they are of no use against an aircraft not squawking, which is a bit of problem against hostile aircraft.
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Old 9th Apr 2010, 09:28
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I'm not a controller, but surely if you have a large metal object creating a permanent echo, you can't see anything behind it? So a Backfire (or whatever) flying in around the height of the wind farm would be shielded from radar?
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Old 9th Apr 2010, 09:33
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I'm not a controller, but surely if you have a large metal object creating a permanent echo, you can't see anything behind it?
Static objects aren't a problem, and ducting and other techniques allows cover beyond them. They can be taken out using MTI, as can moving objects using doppler MTI.

The problem with windfarms is the rotating blades which produce variable returns which are more difficult to handle. However, techniques to handle the problem have been demonstrated, and are presumably employed by the TPS-77.

I'm just shocked that we've reached the stage that the AD radar cover for the UK has to be paid for by energy companies owned by the French etc...
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Old 9th Apr 2010, 09:45
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I accept the Pri/Sec point ORAC, but the problem of non-squawkers is not exclusively related to this... they always have been and are always going to be a problem anyway regardless of wind turbines... Whilst there may have been some sort of issue, some sort of problem (since posting my original, I've read the other thread about it where doppler, MTI etc are talked about in more detail) originally, I think the way it has been addressed and how suddenly as soon as someone else appears to be paying for one single TPS77, all the objections fall away.... sorry mate, if it swims like a fish, looks like a fish and stinks like a fish.... chances are, its a fish. Theres more to this than what meets the eye in this press release.

5f6b:

If I were Mr Putin, I would be a tad concerned at the Long Range Aviation boys playing Red Bull Air Racing around the masts of wind farms with Backfires and Blackjacks...

Would be entertaining to watch though, I have to concede that...
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Old 9th Apr 2010, 14:53
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About time!

Surely this is simply a way of paying off the RAF for extra bother put on safe aviation and all who defend her.

I know of several airfields in the UK whereby AC cannot take a certain SID any more or take a deconfliction service when necessary due to proximity of windfarms (one particular windfarm some 15 miles from a very busy training airfield that is located about 25 miles inland!).

Why put wind farms in the way and compensate our loss of capability and safety? Surely the CAA and MOD can have something to say about it or are they just magpies for a quick payoff?
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Old 9th Apr 2010, 18:14
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I'm just shocked that we've reached the stage that the AD radar cover for the UK has to be paid for by energy companies owned by the French etc...
It is called social progress. In the Dark Ages, neighbouring villages in the UK were bashing the heads in of each others women and children. Then trade links made villages mutually dependent - so they stopped fighting each other, and just fought the next county instead. Then we progressed just to fighting the Scots and the Welsh. After that, we started on the French. We stopped fighting the French a couple of centuries ago as our economies became linked, so we started fighting further afield instead. We are no longer fighting Russia, and the risk of that happening is less and less as trade increases.

I think it a sign of progress that the French private sector are now indirectly contributing to our national security.
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Old 9th Apr 2010, 21:50
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It's unfortunate we have reached the stage of energy companies having to pay for radar systems to smooth through renewable energy projects, but I'd rather that than no wind farm.

It'd be good to see some true leadership from the government, rather than putting forward the argument of importance of renewable power for the future of the nation, whilst doing little in the way of decision making where there are conflicting interests.

Thankfully Beauly-Denny will go ahead and there is at last a promising ocean hydro project off Orkney.

Either we can live with areas of limited coverage, or we can work towards a more comprehensive radar system, but I don't think doing nothing in terms of power generation is an option.
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Old 9th Apr 2010, 22:08
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Wink

Now that we've done that part of the thread to death. Has any one considered the implications of the engineering design of the French wind turbines? The towers are hinged at the base, and the turbines can be driven by electricity stored in huge batteries within the towers. When the French are good and ready, large chunks of the UK will just lift off and head off under remote control for the Mediterranean. Perhaps building a land bridge to the Channel Islands enabling them to claim them as their own.

PS. It's Saturday morning here, and I'm bored.
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Old 9th Apr 2010, 22:15
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Trim Stab,

I think it a sign of progress that the French private sector are now indirectly contributing to our national security.
You're not aware that the French leaked NATO's plan of attack to Serbia during the Kosovo crisis? Still trust them?
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Old 9th Apr 2010, 22:42
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Humm, I wonder if it will fixed by Service or Civvee maintainers (I guess civvees if SERCO are involved). Though I would agree with Jabba TG12, there is more to this than meets the eye.
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Old 9th Apr 2010, 23:58
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Well, done a bit of digging around the net and found this, a report about the planned windfarms in the Wash and their effect on the ASACS radars at Trimingham and Staxton Wold done in 2007. Seems the Radar Type 101 doesn't like wind farms (which means the Type 102 wouldn't either if what I've told about the system is true, Note in the report that BAe declined to offer a solution to the problem). TPS-77 seems to have already had a trial against wind farms and seems to have done OK.
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Old 10th Apr 2010, 09:30
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You're not aware that the French leaked NATO's plan of attack to Serbia during the Kosovo crisis? Still trust them?
The logic of your silly argument is that we shouldn't trust the US, as a US Navy analyst (Jonathan Pollard) leaked NATO secrets to the Israelis. And the Americans shouldn't trust us either, as Corporal Daniel James leaked secrets to the Iranians - etc etc
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Old 10th Apr 2010, 13:21
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we shouldn't trust the US
We don't (always), hence there is such a classification as UK EYES ONLY!

the Americans shouldn't trust us either
Very sensibly, the Americans don't trust anyone when it comes to defending their sovereign airspace - they do it all themselves! As should we defend ours. Collective defence arrangements such as NATO play a major role in international relations, and have obviously been vital over the years in stabilising global affairs, but when it comes down to it there is only one nation with the UK's interests at heart - the UK. Just because piddly nations like Luxembourg and Lithuania rely on NATO to defend their airspace doesn't mean we should aspire to the same.
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Old 11th Apr 2010, 07:22
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The Times: Sir John Chilcot in MoD lobbying row

SIR John Chilcot, chairman of the Iraq war inquiry, successfully lobbied the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to drop its opposition to a lucrative £150m wind farm project of which he is a director.

Chilcot was among a group of three of the company’s directors who met MoD officials in a private home in London in January 2009. The MoD was blocking the whole scheme because it said the 410ft high turbines would interfere with military radar.

Chilcot, who is a non-executive director of the company, was appointed chairman of the Iraq inquiry on June 15, 2009. Two weeks later, on July 1, the MoD formally dropped its opposition. A public inquiry is due to reopen on Tuesday in Duns in the Scottish Borders.......
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Old 11th Apr 2010, 07:42
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Originally Posted by drustsonoferp
It's unfortunate we have reached the stage of energy companies having to pay for radar systems to smooth through renewable energy projects, but I'd rather that than no wind farm.
It is no different than what we do in the US... if a development company wants to convert a section of unused farmland into a housing project, they have to pay for not only the streets, sidewalks, gutters, storm drains, and sewers for that project, but they must also make improvements to the streets, storm drains, sewers, etc leading to the project, to take care of the increased traffic & waste flow that will result.

And, if part of the farmland qualifies as wetlands, they have to create an equivalent wetland area adjacent to the development to replace the wildlife habitat & ecosystem.


You want to make the profit, you have to pay for your negative impact on the surrounding area.

Simple as that.
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Old 11th Apr 2010, 09:22
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It's unfortunate we have reached the stage of energy companies having to pay for radar systems to smooth through renewable energy projects, but I'd rather that than no wind farm.
drustsonoferp Why should the MOD, who have a perfectly good radar system in place, have to pay to replace it just because this government is stupid enough to pay private companies a huge subsidy to operate a highly inefficient power generation system that is not commercially capable of being viable compared with coal or gas fired power stations?

These companies are going to make huge profits at the tax payers expense and at the same time have a huge detrimental effect on the environment.
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Old 11th Apr 2010, 10:05
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ORAC,

The vast majority of civil radars are secondary only, hence the rotaing blades at windfarms are not a factor.
Are they? That's news to me!

NATS and CAA work closely on windfarms. I believe that the new radar at Trimingham is also desinged to mitigate degradation of NATS' en route radars as well as those of the RAF.

NATS and Windfarms - NATS
http://www.bwea.com/pdf/Wind-Turbine...n-Measures.pdf
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Old 11th Apr 2010, 19:36
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Hi Gonzo,

Background to my remarks, and with the caveat that I retired in '99 and am an old fart so things may have changed.

ADGE radars

In the days of the T80/84/85 static radars these could be used by MATO/NATS, because they were static and had had extensive polar diagram/trials coverage.

When we introduced the mobile T91/92/93/102 series, with multiple mobile sites, these were not considered usable Which is what lead to the death of Highland and Border radars and the the co-ordination suite at Neatishead as a consequences.

NATS radars

When they started to feed in the NATS radars to UKADGE the MoD shut down Portreath, Ty Croes, Bishops Court etc. About 4 years later NATO found out the replacement sensors were SSR only and went ballistic. They didn't give a damn about the UK east coast, but the periphery had to be covered, so we had to move radars back again (which meant robbing the east coast sites so they were left with the T93s (crap and not fit for purpose) and the NATS feed.

The problem with the NATS feed being they were mainly SSR (at long range, the short range primary for airfield control not be fed, only the SSR), and even when the primary failed there was no indication.I had many occasions when I suddenly realised I was controlling above 245 in the MRSA using SSR only.

ORAC: IC, FA, MC, IDRO. TPO, RO 1975-1999.
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