PROFI-WIND - Anwendungsorientiertes Rotorblatt-Monitoring durch Millimeterwellen-Radar

Radar has proven to be a suitable sensor system for the Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) of rotor blades on wind turbines. With the help of the reflected radar signals from rotor blades, structural properties or changes during the operation of a wind turbine can be detected. The frequency range from 33.4 GHz to 36.0 GHz has proven to be suitable. The complexity of the expected radar signals requires an elaborate and complex signal evaluation, which is to be carried out with the help of artificial intelligence (AI). Commercial radar modules that meet the measurement requirements are not available on the market. Therefore, IMST GmbH is taking over the role of developing this radar technology.

The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Actions is funding the project PROFI-WIND "Application-oriented Rotor Blade Monitoring using Millimetre Wave Radar". Coordinator is the Goethe University Frankfurt. The project duration is from June 2021 to May 2024.

Project partners:

Offshore Wind Turbines<br>

The role of IMST in the PROFI-WIND project focuses on two main tasks. In the first task an existing radar system with sensor at 24 GHz, a video camera and mini-PC are adapted for the installation at a wind turbine. The measurement and evaluation of the reflected radar signals from the rotor blades in combination with the pictures from the camera give a good prove of concept. The second task concentrates on the development of a 35 GHz radar sensor. Due to the lack of integrated radar chips at 35 GHz on the market a distributed approach with single components has to be chosen. The sensor is separated into a frontend and a backend. The frontend covers the complete analogue part of the radar functionality at 35 GHz including one transmit and two receive antennas. The backend controls the frontend, calculates the radar data and provides the digitalized information to a data interface for further examination by the project partners. The pictures below show the first installation and results of the 24 GHz radar sensor with integrated camera. The photos have been made by IMST and Goethe University Frankfurt (GUF).

The photo with the 35 GHz radar developed by IMST shows the patch antennas on top of the frontend. On the right side is the transmit antenna and on the left side are two receive antennas. The lower antenna is rotated by 90deg to detect polarisation rotation from the reflected radar signal which could occur if i.e. ice covers the rotor blades. The examination of both polarisations could also improve the detection of damages in the rotor blade material. The 35 GHz radar module was manufacted in May 2022. Afterwards it will be installed and tested in practice.

(C) IMST GmbH<br>

24 GHz Radar with Camera and Mini-PC

(C) Goethe University Frankfurt<br>

Radar Installation at Wind-Turbine-Mast

(C) IMST GmbH<br>

Photo of Rotor-Blade made by Radar Module

(C) Goethe University Frankfurt

24 GHz Radar Distance Measurement of rotating Blade

35 GHz FMCW Radar developed by IMST

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