Cape Wind Project

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Report of the effect on radar performance of the proposed Cape Wind Project

The Technology Service Corporation’s “Report of the Effect on Radar Performance of the Proposed Cape Wind Project” was designed to provide a simulation of the radar performance in the area of the proposed wind farm.

TSC ran the simulations on a variety of commercial marine radars that vary in size and operating characteristics. These simulations were based on scenarios provided by the Coast Guard.

• In Fig. 1, an oil barge and tug travel eastbound at 12 knots in the main channel south of the proposed wind farm. This image shows one radar sweep from the barge/tug, shown as the blue dot in the center of the picture.

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A Boston Whaler-sized boat travels at 30 knots and exits to the south of the wind farm into the path of the oil barge/tug. The tug has a 4-foot X-band radar set to a 6 nmi range. The wind is from the southwest, there is no precipitation and seas are calm.

• One of the Coast Guard’s questions is whether the smaller boat can be detected as it travels through the wind farm. In Figure 2, after the boat has turned southward, it is visible on the display. Several sweeps later,

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however, in Figure 3, the Whaler is not visible because it has been subsumed into the display of the nearby turbine.

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A couple of scans later, the smaller boat is visible again, as shown in Figure 4.

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See related article: "Nantucket wind-energy plan gets a boost."

This article originally appeared in the March 2009 issue.