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Published: 1 December 2014

The PRoblem With radar isn't the radar - it's the radar!

 

3D Holographic Radar™ Changing The World Of Radar!

 

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Remediation solutions to date have focused on the problems caused by wind farms, rather than looking at the real problem: the inability of radars to detect, differentiate and remove this ‘clutter’ from the image. 

 

What if, rather than charging across the landscape to fix the wind farm, which in the last 10 years has led to raising aerial heads, hiding turbines behind a hill (terrain masking we call it), trying to paint them with radar suppression material, blanking them – what if we turned around, walked back to the route of the issue and saw the radar as the problem? Where would we be then – where Aveillant is today.

 

Masking and blanking the area above and around wind farms is not the answer, although up until recent times this has been the only commercially viable solution available to air traffic controllers. However, this does not provide an accurate picture of airspace and can be dangerous in an industry that has to be risk averse.

 

There is now a radar in operation that completely mitigates the effects of any wind farm. Aveillant’s 3D Holographic Radar™ is a massive step away from the traditional rotating radar, which only provides accurate measurement (or time on target) for 1% of the time. Aveillant’s solution is a staring phased array radar that provides a constant view of airspace at all times. Through intelligent characterisation of all objects in its range, the radar can detect, differentiate and remove clutter such as wind turbines or motorway traffic, providing a clear view of what the operator wants to see.

 

For the past four years, 3D Holographic Radar™ has been in development and the team have listened carefully to and worked with their customers. It is one of only two radars with safety cases underway. In 2013, Aveillant held public trials of its technology at Prestwick Airport, where it was independently found to have a probability of detection above the nearby wind farm of above 99%, compared to Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) recommendations of 90%. At the site, the 3D Holographic Radar™ also continued to operate in gale force winds reaching in excess of 90 miles per hour.

 

As well as providing huge operational benefits over a traditional Primary Surveillance Radar (PSR), 3D Holographic Radar™ is also far more cost effective across its lifecycle. It outlives the traditional PSR and without any moving parts, maintenance is simple and can be performed without any disruption to performance. 

 

Commercially viable, 3D Holographic Radar™ is now being implemented across the UK and further discussions are underway with many airports. It’s scalable to meet all coverage requirements.

 

It also offers a future proofed solution. Aveillant’s spectrum-efficient radar technology operates in L band, as opposed to the congested S band commonly used by the aviation sector and MOD, and that is also in demand by mobile phone operators. The Government aims to release 500MHz below 5GHz, including 100MHz of S band spectrum by 2020, which could leave many airports needing to replace their radar with a difficult choice. The solution will not be to relocate wideband radars into L band. Aveillant is executing a contract with the CAA to demonstrate the ability of its Holographic RadarTM technology to provide a spectrum-efficient alternative to S-band primary air traffic surveillance radar. The future looks exciting for 3D Holographic Radar™.