Remcom announced its participation on a team led by Raytheon Co., who has been competitively selected by the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to develop an advanced software tool to model and assess the effects of wind turbines on radar systems used throughout the United States. At the completion of the 24-month effort, Remcom and its partners, Raytheon and Analytical Graphics Inc. (AGI), will deliver to DHS’s Directorate of Science and Technology, Special Projects Division a modeling and simulation tool that will assist DHS in the evaluation process for new wind farm applications.
Wind farms interfere with the ability of nearby radars to track airplanes and weather. Large turbine sizes and blade tip velocities of up to 170 mph cause significant Doppler clutter in radar processing. Some examples of the resultant problems include dead zones for detecting incoming aircraft at borders, interference with tracking of aircraft by air traffic control radar, and clutter in weather radar that can be misinterpreted as a tornado or other adverse conditions. The severity of the problem has forced the delay of a number of proposed wind farms. A recent survey by the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) estimates that wind energy projects comprising approximately 9,000 megawatts of wind power were delayed or abandoned in 2009 due to radar concerns by the DOD and FAA1, indicating the impact that this issue is having on the wind energy industry.
On this program, Remcom will leverage its experience with electromagnetic simulation and software optimization to provide a solution that balances fidelity and performance. Remcom’s portion of the new modeling and simulation tool will incorporate key technologies from its commercial Wireless InSite® and XGtd® software suites as well as the EMPIRE propagation engine that it maintains for the US Government in order to provide a comprehensive solution that addresses several complex issues posed by the problem. Remcom will also combine new, novel approaches to meet the challenging run time objectives for the program.
“We are proud to be a part of this team and to be involved in an effort that will have such an important impact on the US Government and the wind energy industry,” said Greg Skidmore, Director of Remcom’s Propagation Software Division. “In addition to being critical to our country’s safety, the effort complements Remcom’s initiatives to become more involved with renewable energy sources. This is a very big step in Remcom’s growth.”
The project is well suited to Remcom’s core strengths. “Remcom staff has extensive expertise in electromagnetic applications, particularly with antennas, radars and scattering, propagation research including radio meteorology, and formal software development,” Skidmore added.
In addition to commercial enterprises, Remcom has conducted consulting, research, and development on behalf of the Army Research Laboratory, DARPA, the Air Force Research Laboratory, the Naval Information Operations Command, 453 EWS/EWA (USAF), the Naval Research Laboratory, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, US Army CECOM, and the US Army CERDEC. Recent advancements include the development of novel ray tracing algorithms, GPU acceleration for the Finite Difference Time Domain (FDTD) method, custom optimization and workflow tools, and human tissue radiation studies.