MSc thesis project proposal

Validation of model for radio distortion due to wind turbines with measured radar data

Project outside the university



Radar systems are necessary for various applications such as weather prediction, coastal security and air traffic control. Wind turbines can interfere with the operation of these radars. Air traffic control uses primary and secondary radar for tracking targets. Primary radar is non-cooperative which means that the radar emits the signal, is then reflected by the target and finally received again by the radar. The secondary radar emits a interrogation signal, that is received by the transponder in the cooperating target and transmit a response back to the radar. In this study we will focus on the primary radar. Wind turbines can distort air traffic control radars roughly through two mechanisms. Firstly by decreasing transmission between radar and target (shadow). And secondly by reflecting the radar signals of the radar or backscatter. The rotating blades reflect the radar signal with Doppler shifts, which causes the wind turbine to interfere with the detection of normal airborne targets

Figure 1

Figure 1 Schematic overview of the detection probability loss due to wind turbines.

Problem definition

TNO has a model (PERSEUS) to predict the distortion of primary radars due to wind turbines. This model includes both the effect of transmission loss as well as the wind turbine reflection. For this study we intend to validate the part of the model that deals with the backscatter. The backscatter of wind turbines have been measured with the radar at the TUDelft (PARSAX). The results of the measured PARSAX data can be used to validate the distortion model PERSEUS. For this purpose the radar and the tested wind turbines need to be parametrized in order to model the scenario correctly within PERSEUS. The outcome of the model is the single scan detection probability of a target, so a smart comparison with the raw measured data is needed.

Figure 2

Figure 2 The TUDelft PARSAX radar (left) and a blade flash measurement (right).

Figure 3

Figure 3 Example PERSEUS calculation of wind turbines in Flevopolder, the light green colors represent a lower detection probability.


The main goal is to correlate wind turbine backscatter data measured by the PARSAX radar with the calculated results of the PERSEUS model. The interference depends on several variables such as type of wind turbine, environment and weather conditions. The PERSEUS model preferably needs to be validated for several situations. As an additional goal it would be interesting to see if PERSEUS can be improved, by for instance applying an improved wind turbine model.

Optionally, if time permits, it could be interesting to study the effect of fusing data of multiple radars. PERSEUS currently fuses multiple radars by using the data of the radar with the best detection probability for each location.

Click the link to download the poster


A. Brettschneider MSc.
Electronic Defence, TNO
Tel. +31 (0)88 86 64433

Dr. Oleg A. Krasnov
Microwave Sensing, Signals and Systems (MS3),
Faculty EWI, TU Delft
Tel. +31 (0)15 27 86256


Security issues

For this vacancy it is required that the AIVD issues a security clearance after conducting a security screening. Please visit for more information the AIVD website. For foreign students an exception can be made only if the match with the proposed master thesis is very strong.


dr. Oleg Krasnov

Microwave Sensing, Signals and Systems Group

Department of Microelectronics

Last modified: 2017-03-28