Radar signature characterization from wind turbine scattering
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The growth in the number of wind farms has raised significant concerns in the radar community due to their potential interference on radar systems. The motion of the turbine blades creates unwanted Doppler clutter that can interfere in the tracking of moving targets. Large turbine structures can also produce electromagnetic shadows that may make observing objects behind a wind farm difficult. Detailed characterization of the clutter is the first step towards effective mitigation techniques. The goal of this dissertation research is to gain a better understanding of the dynamic radar signatures resulting from scattering by wind turbines. First, the scattering characteristics of turbines in the presence of ground surface are studied. Image theory in conjunction with a shooting-and-bouncing ray code, Ahilo, is used to carry out the dynamic signature simulation. The observed features in the simulation are corroborated with laboratory model measurements. Second, the effects of higher order motions of a turbine undergoing rotation on the radar signatures are investigated and characterized. Mathematical models for the motions are proposed and used to simulate the joint time-frequency and inverse synthetic aperture radar characteristics of the turbine undergoing these motions. The motions are studied for an isolated turbine as well as for a turbine rotating above a ground. Selected motions are corroborated by laboratory model measurements. Next, a method to remove the dynamic clutter produced by wind turbines is presented. A physics-based basis is constructed to model the radar backscattering from a wind turbine. This basis is used in conjunction with the matching pursuit algorithm to iteratively remove the Doppler clutter due to wind turbines. The algorithm is tested using radar return generated using Ahilo. Finally, radar features of wind turbines are simulated and studied in the HF (high frequency) band. The features are presented in the range-Doppler plane for single as well as arrays of turbines. Doppler aliasing due to the limited pulse repetition frequency of HF radars is examined. Shadowing characteristics of arrays of turbines are simulated and analyzed. Electromagnetic modeling details including effects of thin-wire modeling, non-conducting turbine components, and the presence of a conducting ground surface are discussed.