Fossil, Ore., Radar Eyed as Testbed

The Pentagon is interested in using the FAA’s air route surveillance radar 3 (ARSR-3) in Fossil, Ore., as a testbed for validating software and hardware improvements that could help make such radar less vulnerable to disruption from wind turbines. Such radars are crucial for surveiling domestic airspace for air traffic safety and detecting air threats. Yet with more and more large-scale wind farms popping across the nation, some of these radars are experiencing interference from the turbines. Dorothy Robyn, deputy under secretary of defense for installations, told House lawmakers June 29 that “ideally” the Defense Department would like to accelerate the upgrades already planned for the Fossil radar from the current 2014 schedule in order to use it as a testbed. The nation’s largest wind farm is currently being built in nearby Shepherds Flat. DOD in May finally dropped its opposition to that wind farm project. (Robyn prepared remarks)