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With the proliferation of Wind Farms in the UK sector of the North Sea an obvious question arises. Namely, what impact will the placement of wind turbines have on existing line of sight / point to point microwave radio links providing connectivity to existing offshore assets? Of course we support the development of offshore wind but such installations may impact radio communications systems such as broadcasting stations, met systems, radars including commercial aircraft related radar and of course terrestrial microwave point to point (P2P) systems.

Obstruction, Diffraction and Refection/ Scattering of radio propagation by wind turbines can impact the performance of a fixed point to point radio link because of the turbines rotating at approximately 32 rpm. Indeed there are typically 2 or 3 such blades and thus any interfering signal introducing a delayed multipath component for example will fluctuate in signal level around 1.0 to 1.5Hz.

Ideally the operators of existing point to point microwave radio offshore will want to have the comfort of an RF theory study which calculates and takes into account all of the factors mentioned here and to suggest exclusion zones where necessary. Fortunately here at MMX we have the necessary theoretical expertise to provide such internally peer reviewed studies which cover near field clearance, diffraction clearance and reflection/ scattering clearance. Such academic credentials are increasingly hard to find and so its good to know that MMX can provide such expertise when needed. Full disclosure : we also provide design and implementation for line of sight radio systems offshore as well as providing telecom and safety packages for offshore substations and are embedded in the offshore energy ecosystem.

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