National Security

Solutions to National Security Technology Barriers

With our deep understanding of wind technology and national security, we quantify barriers and identify pathways to technical solutions. Sandia leads efforts to reduce barriers through:

  • Wind turbine radar interference research and interagency teaming for on- and offshore wind farms
  • Radar interference reduction technology on wind turbine blades
  • Warfare and disaster response resilience using distributed wind technologies

Defense and Disaster Deployable Turbine (D3T)

When conflicts and natural disasters unfold around the world and military or civil humanitarian response is needed, quick access to energy on location is critical to ensuring a successful mission or crisis response. The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Defense and Disaster Deployable Turbine (D3T) project is evaluating the market potential for rapidly deployable wind energy technologies, developing wind turbine design requirements for operational applications, and assessing commercially available wind technologies against operational design requirements to help identify technology gaps and research and development opportunities. The project team is led by Sandia in partnership with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and Idaho National Laboratory.

Read more about D3T.

Radar Friendly Blades

Some wind farms have the potential to cause interference with the normal operation of radar systems used for security, weather forecasting, and air-traffic control. An object’s shape, material, size, and orientation with respect to a radar system all contribute to a radar cross-section (RCS), which is a measure of how much energy is reflected back to the radar system. While wind towers and nacelles have the largest RCS that can cause radar scatter, they can generally be compensated for in a manner similar to large buildings. The large rotating blades however, create time-varying Doppler spectra that prevent the radar system from easily filtering out their signal.

Learn more about Radar Friendly Blades.

Siting and Barrier Mitigation

Wind plant installations offer lower electricity rates, reduce greenhouse emissions and improve air quality. However, like any form of energy installation, they impact surrounding areas. As the number of large wind plants in the the U.S. grows, the potential for wind turbines to interfere with radar missions and grid operations increases. Sandia works with industry and government agencies to mitigate potential barriers to successful wind turbine deployment.

Learn more about Siting and Barrier Mitigation.


This effort is aimed at solving deployment barriers for wind-energy systems by testing and evaluating mitigation methods, which reduce or eliminate wind turbine effects on radar systems. This effort includes collaboration with industry, five government organizations (DOE, DOD, DHS, DOT-FAA, and NOAA) and two national laboratories (Sandia National Laboratories and MIT Lincoln Laboratory). The goal is to overcome interference caused by wind turbines on civilian and military radar systems by developing site planning tools, delivering technical assistance, and fostering interagency collaboration.

Learn more at WTRIM.