Wind turbines can pose a hazard to low-flying aircraft. For reasons of flight safety, relevant aviation obstacles and turbines must be lit at night. The usual lighting of wind turbines - regardless of whether an aircraft or helicopter is in the vicinity or not - consists of permanently flashing red lights. The flashing lights are often perceived as a nuisance by residents and in the past have often led to resentment among the local population.
Aircraft Detection Lighting Systems (ADLS) activate or deactivate the obstacle lighting depending on the presence of aircraft in the vicinity of a wind farm. Among other things, this is intended to increase the acceptance of wind energy and its expansion among the population and minimise the impact on the environment.
First transponder-based ADLS in the Netherlands
airsight conducted the proof-of-concept for the first aircraft detection systems for obstacle lighting based on transponder signals in the Netherlands from the manufacturer “Lanthan Safe Sky”.
The validation flights, as important part within the procedure, were conducted over and around the windfarm in Krammer.
As part of the proof-of-concept, the aircraft detection system was validated by test flights on the real installation. The validation flights are carried out both with fixed-wing aircraft as well as with a drone / unnamed aircraft vehicle (UAV) equipped with complex equipment to conduct extensive testing at all flight altitudes.
The aim of the proof-of-concept is to ensure that the systems meet all applicable regulatory requirements as well as the high aviation safety standards. For this purpose, an extensive list of criteria was developed and used to assess the safety, quality and reliability of the detection systems.
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