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

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Provost Sloan launches motorcycle show and charity ride to Moscow

South Ayrshire Provost Winifred Sloan recently opened the 22nd Scottish Classic Motorcycle show at Ayr Racecourse, then promptly got on her bike to promote a unique charity mission.

[Provost Sloan, seated is pictured with charity riders (left to right) Jim Humphries, John Rynne, John Plumber and Robin Jeffrey (kneeling).]

The show returned to Ayr after an absence of six years and was a sell-out, with classic motorcycle enthusiasts coming from all over Scotland, England and Northern Ireland to see the vintage machines on display.

Provost Sloan said: “I was delighted to welcome The Scottish Classic Motorcycle Show back to Ayr and I hope this marks a permanent return for this important and significant event.

“The Scottish Classic Motorcycle Show started small, just 21 years ago, at a time when Michael Jackson was perfecting his Moonwalk and Roger Rabbit was being framed.

“In that short time, it has grown to become THE classic bike attraction in Scotland, a real testament to the unstinting commitment and dedication of those who work at the Ayr Classic Motorcycle Club.”

Having opened the show, Provost Sloan then met Jim Humphries, John Rynne, John Plumber, Robin Jeffrey and Brigid Rynne who will be taking part in a sponsored motorcycle adventure to Moscow in Russia – departing from Moscow in East Ayrshire.

The route between the two Moscows (and back) will take the adventurous group from Scotland through England, France, Belgium, Germany, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Russia, the Ukraine, the Czech Republic and Switzerland.

All money raised through this ride will go to the Poppa Guttmann Trust, supporting the spinal injuries unit at Stoke Mandeville hospital.

Jim Humphries explained: “Sir Ludwig ‘Poppa’ Guttmann was founder of the National Spinal Injuries Centre at Stoke Mandeville and father of the modern Paralympic Games.

“The money we raise will help Stoke Mandeville develop an innovative arts programme to assist recently-paralysed patients in improving their fine motor skills while, at the same time, fostering creativity and a sense of achievement.”

Provost Sloan concluded: “I wish Jim and his team a safe return to Ayr in July, when I aim to catch up with him and learn more of his charity fund raising trip and I look forward to the Scottish Classic Motorcycle Show returning to Ayr next year.”

You can track Jim’s trip and learn more about the Stoke Mandeville Spinal Injuries Unit via the rider’s website:

South Ayrshire Council is a founder member of the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle.

South Ayrshire Provost Winifred Sloan marks Ayr Concert series anniversary

South Ayrshire Provost Winifred Sloan has hosted a civic reception to mark the silver anniversary of the Ayr Concert Series, an annual celebration of classical music showcasing the finest talents in their profession.

[South Ayrshire Provost Winifred Sloan is pictured with (left to right) Michael Hitchon, Treasurer of the Ayr Arts Guild, Ann Monfries, Marketing Director, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Gavin Reid, Director, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Pat Crook, Ayr Arts Guild, and other distinguished guests at the civic reception marking the Silver anniversary of the Ayr Concert Series.]

The Concert Series began in 1987 at Ayr Town Hall and has steadily grown in popularity and scope, attracting performers from all over the world.

It has also played host to BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, the Orchestra of Scottish Opera, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, and the Scottish Ensemble and many world class conductors.

Provost Sloan said: “The Ayr Concert Series is no stranger to big names, or extraordinary talent and, even from the first performance back in 1987 we welcomed trumpeter John Wallace, mezzo soprano Christine Cairns and cellist Murray Welsh.

“Conducting the Ulster Orchestra that year was Ayr man Bryden Thomson, who sadly passed away in 1991.

“His last recordings, of the Symphony No. 4 and Symphony No. 6 of Carl Nielsen are still considered by critics to be among the very best interpretations of those works.

“We’ve welcomed stars such as flautist James Galway, Steven Isserlis the cellist, Heinrich Schiff, a cellist and conductor, and Sir Alexander Gibson, who became the first Scottish principal conductor and artistic director of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra in 1959.

“Celebrities such as Richard Stilgoe, Jackie Bird, Jamie McDougall, Lisa Milne and Bill McCue are all well known to us through the Concert Series.

“On a personal note, I’ve also been thrilled to see the emergence of new talent such as our own wonderfully gifted Nicola Benedetti, who was inspired by the Ayr Concert Series as a child.

“But, despite the stars, musicians, orchestras glitz and glamour, the recent success of the Concert Series rests squarely on the shoulders of the Ayr Arts Guild, who stepped in to take over the event management some six years ago.

“Its commitment, enthusiasm, drive and energy has been unparalleled and I’m sure this is noticed and appreciated by all the performers, on stage and behind the scenes.”

Responding to Provost Sloan, Michael Hitchon, treasurer of the Ayr Arts Guild said: “The Ayr Concert Series is a hugely successful collaboration between the Council and the voluntary sector.

“We’re delighted to have our silver anniversary recognised by Provost Sloan and we can promise a bigger and better line up for the Ayr Concert series in 2011/12.

“Feedback to the Ayr Arts Guild tells us that we are delivering quality musical masterpieces, clearly being enjoyed by audiences of all ages, from all walks of life and from home and abroad.

“Our aim is to build on the success of the past, fine-tuning our offering for the future and I sincerely hope we will celebrate many more musical milestones in the future.

“Brochures with details of the concerts will shortly be available to the public, with season tickets on sale from 4 July. Single tickets will go on sale from 15 August.

Provost Sloan concluded: “I was delighted to mark the occasion with the Guild and special guests as my own way of saying a big thank to them for all their hard work making sure the Ayr Concert series goes from strength to strength.

“I know the programme for the next year is as diverse as it will be popular, so make sure you get your tickets as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.”

South Ayrshire Council is a founder member of the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle.