Helios Remote Sensing Systems Wins DOE Award for Offshore Wind Radar

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has announced nearly USD 32 million in funding for small business-led projects to further develop clean energy technologies that have a strong potential for commercialisation and job creation.

Among the projects selected for awards is Helios Remote Sensing Systems, a company developing a low cost, low power, wind profiling Doppler radar measurement system to characterise offshore wind resources.

These awards will help 32 small businesses advance their concepts that improve manufacturing processes, boost the efficiency of buildings, increase transportation sustainability, and generate electricity from renewable sources. Funded through DOE’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs, most of the projects that have advanced into Phase II were previously selected for Phase I funding in 2016.

Helios’ technology came on the heels of Air Force SBIR project which saw the development of an Airborne Passive Radar since, in developing its technologies, the company has been exploring other opportunities within government agencies that could also benefit from the staff’s expertise in radar design and development.

“We were able to successfully leverage our long history with the DOD program and begin work with the Department of Energy on radar wind profiler efforts,” said Janine Szczepanski, CEO of Helios. “There is a need to improve wind farm efficiency and we are doing that by providing a wind profiler which is a radar mechanism to measure things from sea level.”

This piece of equipment, called the Marine Atmospheric Radar for Boundary Layer Estimation or MABL, is a compact wind profiling radar measurement instrument that provides MABL characterisation for offshore wind applications, including profiles of wind speed and direction, and communication rates appropriate for advanced rapid refresh weather modelling.

The device will be mounted on buoys and can measure up to a kilometre from sea level. Helios hopes the radar measurement technique will provide reliable, robust all-weather operation at low cost.

The company sees a lot of commercial potential in working with DOE and said it is excited to be once again utilising the SBIR program.

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