Our Successes of 2013
As 2014 unfolds, we like to take the time to reflect upon the year gone by and highlight a selection of company successes. Below you will read about what we consider to be our biggest triumphs of 2013. We are proud of our achievements and we want to tell you all about them.
Removal of concerns raised by Highway Agency about direct reflections from a proposed solar farm
A solar farm was proposed to be sited alongside a busy road in the south west of Wales and, following consultation with the local Highway planning agency, a concern was raised regarding the potential for direct solar reflections to potentially cause a hazard to drivers.
We undertook a Glint and Glare assessment whilst also supplying evidence concerning typical reflections which would be experienced from solar panels. The report concluded that visibility to the panels from the road would be limited and, even if reflections were to occur, they would be unlikely to significantly affect and cause a hazard to the safety of drivers using the road.
The report was submitted to the Highway Planning Liaison Officer who subsequently withdrew the concerns. The development went on to be approved by the Planning Committee in a unanimous decision in favour.
MET Office radar objection removed following technical analysis
The MET Office had previously raised concerns and objected to a proposed wind farm in central Scotland due to the possible detrimental impact upon the meteorological radar at Munduff Hill.
Our Radar Impact Assessment was undertaken and determined that no significant impact would be expected. The report was sent to the MET Office who consequently removed their objection to the wind development.
Mitigation arranged with the JRC following communication link analysis
For this project a Communications Link Impact Assessment was conducted. It included a detailed link co-ordination assessment which calculated a minor link infringement upon a Ultra High Frequency (UHF) link operated by the JRC.
Following this, we were then chosen to facilitate mitigation with the JRC which led to a solution being found which was acceptable to the developer and to the JRC. After micrositing, the objection was withdrawn and the wind farm development acceptable.
Pager Power Online report development: Radar Detectability and Obstruction Assessment
The new Radar Detectability Assessment considers every 1m of a turbine’s structure and has been calibrated against the real world data of wind turbine and radar interference. This has led to a redesigned assessment with the results presented in a way which are both accurate and easy to understand.
In addition, what was the Aerodrome Protected Surfaces report, evolved into the Obstruction Assessment. A report that produces results which will show whether a newly introduced structure (e.g. wind turbine, building, crane etc.) will infringe upon the Protected Surfaces around an aerodrome. It helps you to quickly identify any possible impacts upon aviation safety around an airport/airfield so that changes to the height of a structure can be made if required.
Television Assessments and Surveys
The technical team undertook numerous Television Interference Impact Assessments and Surveys for both wind and building developments. Locations included central Scotland, Blackpool, Altrincham and Woking to name just a few.
In cases where pre-construction analysis was undertaken by us, the post-construction surveys proved that the original assessment (including desk based analysis and surveys) was accurate.
The identification of possible television interference early meant that the developer was better prepared to deal with any issues which subsequently arose when construction was completed.
Removal of a Glasgow Airport primary radar objection
Our analysis subsequently led to the removal of a wind turbine radar objection near to Glasgow Airport.
After registering with Pager Power Online, the client requested a Radar Line of Sight Assessment with Expert Commentary . Taking our advice given in the Commentary, additional shielding analysis was undertaken. The consultancy team determined that the turbine would be marginally visible to the radar but, when modelled using Radar Detectability analysis, would be undetectable.
The analysis was then sent on to the airport who subsequently removed their objection.
Solar Glint and Glare Study for Bristol Airport hangar
We were proud to be selected to conduct a study to identify the potential effects of Glint and Glare from a new metal roof to be installed on a hangar at Bristol Airport. The Airport was concerned that direct solar reflection may cause detriment to safety for incoming aircraft, and could also possibly cause a disturbance to ATC personnel within the control tower on the airfield.
The analysis determined that reflections could occur but these would not be a significant hazard to aviation safety at Bristol Airport. Following delivery of the report, the concerns of the airport were alleviated and the project was given the go ahead.
Analysis helps in preventing an MOD ATC primary radar objection
Following our client undertaking a Radar Line of Sight Assessment with Expert Commentary using Pager Power Online, it was highlighted that the proposed wind turbine would be significantly visible to the radar at RAF Waddington. The review within the commentary, however, revealed that there may be additional shielding below the line of sight profile which could change the results.
We put together an Additional Shielding Assessment which incorporated the significant obstructions along the profile between the proposed development and the radar. The results showed that the turbine would be considerably below the line of sight and undetectable to the radar at RAF Waddington with the shielding incorporated.
The results of the report were sent to the Ministry of Defence (MOD), who submitted a no objection letter to the Council on the application.
Removal of MOD concerns about possible effects of glint and glare from a proposed solar farm
We undertook a glint and glare impact assessment which alleviated the concerns of the MOD. The solar farm, which is within 5km of RNAS Yeovilton, is to be sited directly below an approach path and was of particular concern to the MOD.
The objection was addressed by undertaking several assessments whilst consulting with the MOD throughout the process. This culminated in a detailed report looking at whether solar reflections were possible, whether they may affect approaching and departing aircraft and whether the type of reflection could cause flash blindness to a pilot. The report was presented to the MOD, the results of which meant that no objection was submitted.
This assessment went hand in hand with the development of our new solar reflection tool which accurately identifies whether a solar reflection can be experienced at a set location and altitude
During 2013, once again we undertook wind turbine studies in South Africa including analysis concerning wind farm interference with secondary surveillance radar (SSR) as well as upon wireless communications along a railway track. Other work included co-operating with wind farm developers in Finland, Sweden and Belgium.
Additionally, thanks to our global terrain database, for the first time we went truly international with the ability to process quick and easy online reports in many countries around the world. This means that if you require a terrain based assessment anywhere around the world we will be able to help.
Lastly in 2013 a wind farm in the Seychelles, which we undertook communications analysis, begun to generate electricity for the first time.