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29 October, 2020 - 20:27 By Tony Quested

Plextek shares £2m to protect air surveillance radars from windfarm effect


Cambridge-based Plextek DTS is sharing £2 million with four other companies  to protect the UK’s air surveillance radars from interference from windfarms.

It was successful in the recent Defence and Security Accelerator competition, ‘Windfarm Mitigation for UK Air Defence’ – an initiative supported by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the Royal Air Force and the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory.

The contracts form part of a wider MoD commitment under the Government’s 2019 Offshore Wind Sector Deal, to provide 30 per cent of the UK’s electricity requirements using wind power by 2030 but to mitigate the interference that windfarms can cause to primary air surveillance radars.

Plextek DTS has been contracted to investigate using the latest deep learning algorithms to compensate for disturbances to radar signals caused by windfarms. If successful, the research could be rapidly exploited to enhance air surveillance capability in the vicinity of existing and future windfarms.

Defence Minister Jeremy Quin said: “We want more offshore wind farms to help deliver our ambitious environmental agenda while retaining the protection that radar provides. 

“This is a great step forward in achieving this goal and shows Defence’s determination to support sustainability and deliver our green goals for Britain.”

Dr Aled Catherall, head of technology at Plextek DTS added: “The project draws on Plextek-DTS's extensive expertise in both radar and machine learning to address this important challenge. 

“It is also very rewarding to be working on a defence technology that supports greater adoption of green energy sources such as wind turbines.”

Plextek DTS helps government agencies, defence suppliers and military stakeholders find new technology exploitation paths to support UK forces. 

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