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Air Force wants to correct radar inference from wind turbines

Stephen Meese/

The Air Force is looking for technology to correct radar interference caused by wind turbines, contracting documents show.

The proliferation of wind turbines and alternative energy projects around the country and near military installations has created risks that radar systems, which are used to track aircraft and other vehicles, would be affected. The fear is that turbines' rotating blades will scatter waves or be mistaken for planes and other moving targets.

“It has been observed that operation of these energy production sites can confound military equipment or otherwise negatively impact training or operational readiness,” according to the solicitation.

The Air Force wants engineers to develop ways to account for unwanted signals or errors caused by wind turbines and other objects in a landscape. The techniques created would help it address and mitigate the risks posed by wind turbines to military and air traffic control operations.

The service is soliciting proposals between Aug. 27 and Sept. 6. The tender comes just as the Pentagon and Interior Department have inked an agreement to push green electricity projects on military bases. The plan would help ensure energy for bases if the commercial grid is disrupted.

The departments are aware of the risks caused by building wind projects so close to military bases. “If improperly sited, offshore development could impact military missions; therefore DOI and DoD will continue to work closely together to identify areas most appropriate for offshore wind development,” states the memorandum of understanding between Defense and Interior. New technology to address wind turbine radar interference, if successfully implemented, might also be of some help.

(Image via  Stephen Meese /

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