The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

Monday, 27 June 2011

Prestwick Airport selects Cambridge Consultants for wind farm radar solution

Cambridge Consultants today announced it has been selected by Glasgow Prestwick Airport to provide the first stage in a radar mitigation system design to solve the problem of interference by wind farms.

This turbine radar mitigation system design and Part 1 Safety Case will be based on Cambridge Consultants’ groundbreaking Holographic Radar technology, and potentially removes a major barrier to wind farm development.

The region surrounding Glasgow Prestwick Airport is strategically important to the growth of the UK wind industry, with the potential for hundreds of turbines. However, this cannot be developed without an effective solution to mitigate interference to the airport’s Primary Radar systems that would be caused by the turbines. Many competing technical solutions have been proposed to deal with this issue, but Cambridge Consultants’ Holographic Radar was found to best suit GPA’s operational requirement and offers greater deployment flexibility than current alternative technologies.

Cambridge Consultants has worked extensively with aviation and wind energy stakeholders to create a technical solution that fully meets their requirements. Holographic Radar is a non-scanning, continuously tracking 3D radar that can reliably discriminate between turbines and aircraft based on easily observable differences in their behaviour. Successful trials of a small scale system for the MoD in 2009 paved the way for the technology to be selected in 2010 by the UK Government’s Aviation Management Board, and agreement from the wind industry’s funding body, the Aviation Investment Fund Company Ltd, to offer financial support. The commission by GPA is a significant first step towards the deployment of Holographic Radar as a standard aviation industry wind turbine mitigation technology.

Anne Mackenzie, Group Manager at Infratil Airports Europe, owners of Glasgow Prestwick Airport commented: “We are supporting holographic radar as it is a no-degradation solution that can operate at low level without loss of cover. Not only is it spectrum friendly, but its 3D plots make seamless integration into existing radar displays easier. As a modular system, it should make the rollout of mitigation solutions for various wind farms more straight forward. The result of this work will be an essential building block for a robust mitigation strategy for GPA, in an environment where safety is paramount.”

Craig Webster, Commercial Director at Cambridge Consultants (pictured above) said: “We welcome this opportunity to work with the Prestwick team. The most exciting thing about this programme is the level of collaboration. Prestwick have gone to considerable lengths to bring all parties together, including competing wind farm developers, to work up a solution that meets the needs of air traffic controllers and allows wind farms to be built in their region. It seems so much effort is being expended in conflict between the wind energy and aviation industries, when this commission clearly shows that there are practical and collaborative ways to find realistic solutions.”

About Cambridge Consultants

Cambridge Consultants develops breakthrough products, creates and licenses intellectual property, and provides business consultancy in technology critical issues for clients worldwide. For over 50 years, the company has been helping its clients turn business opportunities into commercial successes, whether they are launching first-to-market products, entering new markets or expanding existing markets through the introduction of new technologies. With a team of over 300 engineers, designers, scientists and consultants, in offices in Cambridge (UK) and Boston (USA), Cambridge Consultants offers solutions across a diverse range of industries including medical technology, industrial and consumer products, transport, energy, cleantech and wireless communications.

Created by three Cambridge graduates in 1960, the company has grown into a leading technology business, renowned worldwide for its ability to solve technical problems and provide innovative, practical solutions to commercial issues. In 2009, the company was awarded the prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise in International Trade. For more information visit:

Cambridge Consultants is part of Altran, the European leader in innovation and high technology consulting. The Group’s 17,500 consultants, operating worldwide, cover the entire range of engineering specialities, including electronics, information technology, quality and organisation. Altran offers its clients ongoing support throughout the innovation cycle, from technology watch, applied basic research and management consulting to industrial systems engineering and information systems. The Group provides services to most industries, including the automotive, aeronautics, space, life sciences and telecommunications sectors. Founded in 1982, Altran operates in 20 priority countries. In 2008, it generated a turnover of €1,650 million. For more information visit:


Glasgow Prestwick Airport

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