Windfarm developer Statkraft turned to ATDI to identify a suitable frequency allocation for their application for a radio frequency license. In the planning process for a proposed wind farm in the Republic of Ireland, the operator was required to mitigate the potential impact of the windfarm on white-fronted geese, who had been spotted in the area. The operator needed to install an onsite avian detection radar to monitor the impact on these birds.
Before installation, Statkraft had to identify and apply for an operating frequency range for the radar with ComReg, the national regulator. To avoid interference, the operating frequency needed to be separated, as far as possible, between the avian radar and the primary surveillance radars (PSR) operated by the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA).
UHF communications in the Republic of Ireland operate in four bands: 225-400MHz, 328.6 – 335.4 MHZ, 960- 1215 MHz and 2700 – 3100 MHz. Aside from UHF, this band is shared with instrument landing systems (ILS), distance measuring equipment (DME) and radiolocation services (primary surveillance radars). Ensuring that the proposed spectrum allocation didn’t interfere with these services was key to their license application.
As a project breakdown, the settings of all the radars (four ATC radars and the dual-sensor avian radar) were imported into ATDI’s flagship radio modelling software, HTZ Communications. This included the location of each radar, the power settings, antenna patterns, etc. A frequency assignment calculation was completed to ensure the assignment did not create any interference, blocking and spurious emissions into the PSR radars. The study applied a 20m cartographic database for Ireland. This data was obtained from open-source data and included a DTM and clutter dataset.
As an output from the study, ATDI provided the end-user with reporting outlining the scope of the study and the parameters used. The report concluded that the proposed avian radar didn’t interfere with the existing PSR radars. In part, this was a direct result of the topography of the terrain where the avian radar is separated by a hill, blocking signals received by other radars.
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Statkraft is a leading company in hydropower internationally and Europe’s largest generator of renewable energy. The Group produces hydropower, wind power, solar power, gas-fired power and supplies district heating. Statkraft is a global company in energy market operations. Statkraft has 4,600 employees in 18 countries.