Can renewable energy sources power the world?
Can renewable energy sources power the world?

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

Free course

Can renewable energy sources power the world?

6.3 Wind turbines and aviation

The UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) has voiced concern about the interference with military radar that could be caused by wind turbines. In addition, it is concerned that wind turbines (particularly those with large diameters and tall towers), when located in certain areas, will penetrate the lower portion of the low flying zones used by military aircraft. MOD intervention has impeded the development of several wind farms in the UK.

Renewable UK maintains a website (Renewable UK, 2011a) giving information about wind turbines and aviation, including a series of maps from NATS (National Air Traffic Services), MOD and RESTATS (RESTATS, 2011) showing the consultation zone areas in the UK for which NATS requires notification of wind turbine planning applications.

One potential solution involves adapting the design of wind turbine blades to include RAMs (radar absorbing materials). In a joint project between QinetiQ and Vestas (Appleton, 2010) a ‘stealth’ turbine equipped with a set of RAM blades has demonstrated a substantially reduced impact on radar.

Another approach is the development of systems that can filter out interference to radar from wind turbines, such as BAE’s ADT (Advanced Digital Tracking) system (Butler, 2007).

Can turbines have an impact on birds and wildlife? You’ll cover that next.


Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to university level study, find out more about the types of qualifications we offer, including our entry level Access courses and Certificates.

Not ready for University study then browse over 900 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus