Wind farm RADAR

Validation and demonstration of dual Doppler radar wind field measurements for wind energy applications – wind farm RADAR 

Funding: Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK)
Funding amount: 9.5 million EUR
Partner: Fraunhofer Institute for Wind Energy Systems IWES (project coordination); ForWind, Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg
Duration: 08/2020 - 05/2025


  • Wind measurements are currently taken using laser-based LiDAR technology and wind measuring masts.
  • The dual Doppler radar technology developed in the USA offers a new alternative. It is able to measure a wind field with a much higher temporal and spatial resolution.
  • The aim of the RADAR wind farm project is to qualify the dual Doppler radar technology for use in the wind industry and to demonstrate the possibilities and limits of this measurement technology.
  • The Fraunhofer IWES is coordinating the project and is responsible, among other things, for the development and validation of measurement concepts and methods as well as the implementation of measurement campaigns.

At present, wind is measured using wind measuring masts and by laser with the LiDAR technology. The dual Doppler radar technology promises new possibilities for measuring large wind fields. It employs two radars which are technically equipped to exploit the Doppler effect. This technology enables the wind field to be measured on the scale of a typical large wind farm with a very high temporal and spatial resolution. With this, the performance of the entire wind farm can also be better determined. In addition, due to the higher range of the radar technology and a significantly faster sampling rate, the incoming wind field of a wind turbine can be recorded more effectively than with LiDAR technology and, in turn, the expected loads can be better verified.

At present, there is just one prototype in the world of a dual Doppler radar suitable for the wind industry. The goal of the RADAR wind farm project is to investigate the possibilities and limits of this technology and its application in the wind industry.

Given the high equipment costs for radar technology totaling several million euros and the continuing high expenditure on research and development, it does not make economic sense for most players in the offshore wind industry sector to purchase dual Doppler radar systems. Instead, the infrastructure and the expertise required for operation are to be developed by Fraunhofer IWES and made available as a measuring service. This not only comprises the necessary devices but also the strategies and methods for optimized measurement, data analysis and interpretation, and the validation and verification of the results obtained.

As part of this joint project, the Fraunhofer IWES is responsible for the development of measurement strategy concepts and methods, for the development and operation of the dual Doppler radar, for data analysis, and for the validation and verification of the measurements. At the heart of this project are several demonstration measurement campaigns, both onshore and offshore. The results of these campaigns will be integrated into a roadmap for the future development and application of radar technology for wind measurement.

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