LONDON, UKA long-range air-surveillance radar system vows to overcome the sensor performance issues commonly caused by the rotating blades of wind turbines. Essentially, the electronics in Lockheed Martin's TPS-77 radar mitigate the interference or "clutter" that commonly obscures radar targets in and around wind farms. Lockheed Martin's TPS- 77 is the latest configuration of the three-dimensional (3D) radar design. This fixed-site or transportable radar provides continuous 3D surveillance on aircraft targets at more than 250 nautical miles. As a result, the radar system promises to provide reliable airdefense surveillance capabilities for the UK Ministry of Defense (MoD).
The radar will provide surveillance over five planned wind farms in the Greater Wash Strategic Area: Sheringham Shoal, Race Bank, Dudgeon, Triton Knoll, and Docking Shoal. These wind farms are expected to generate more than 5500 MW of sustainable power. Under contract with Serco, Lockheed Martin will deliver the TPS-77 system by November 2011. In the UK, Serco has served as Lockheed Martin's in-country Contractor Logistic Support partner for the MoD's FPS-117 or Type 92 radars.
The TPS-77 radar's capabilities in "green" wind-field environments has been demonstrated in tests at land-based wind farms near the company's outdoor test range in Cazenovia, NY as well as in trials with the Horns Rev offshore wind farm in the North Sea. The company claims that it delivers top performance while using just half the power of comparable S-band radars.
The radar system supports the goals of the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change to reduce fuel consumption. In 2009, the UK established the Low Carbon Transition Plan to reduce emissions 34 percent from 1990 levels by 2020. The plan calls for an 80-percent reduction by 2050. With more than 200 offshore wind farms, wind power is the nation's biggest renewable energy source.