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Serco commended at Security Innovation Awards

Published: 18 Mar 2016

Serco has been highly commended at the 2016 Security Innovation Awards for its work to deploy innovative radar technology to prevent wind farms interfering with the UK's air defence radars. The Awards organised by ADS - the industry body for the Aerospace, Defence, Security and Space sectors - recognise key innovations across the UK’s security sector.

Security Minister, the Rt Hon John Hayes MP presented the Commendation to Serco’s Strategic Development Director for Defence, Jamie Black at a ceremony which took place in Farnborough last week. 

Serco has been at the forefront of providing a solution to the challenges posed by wind farms to Air Defence capability since the UK Government signalled its intention to achieve 15% of electricity needs from renewable sources.

Over the past four years, in its capacity as prime contractor to the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD), Serco has worked with Lockheed Martin to optimise and implement the necessary ‘wind farm friendly’ radar technology, which - where operationally acceptable - would allow the creation of wind farms in line of sight of air defence radar stations.

To fund this project, Serco - working with wind farm developers, The Crown Estate and the Department of Energy & Climate Change - engaged with the MOD to identify an innovative business solution.

Last month, the MOD confirmed that the first of five new, or upgraded, Air Defence radars, implemented by Serco was fully operational at the MOD’s Remote Radar Head (RRH) at Trimingham in Norfolk.

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This new radar has paved the way for the development of the Sheringham Shoal Offshore Wind Farm, off the coast of North Norfolk, whose 88 wind turbines generate 317MW of capacity - enough clean energy to power almost 220,000 British homes. This equates to a reduction of 500,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions every year compared to fossil fuels. 

Jamie Black said: “We are delighted to have our work recognised in this way. Defence capability against potential airborne threats has been preserved while enabling wider efforts to tackle climate change through the expansion of wind-powered generators – all at no cost to the MOD. Serco looks forward to providing solutions for similar complex problems in the future.”

More than 40 companies entered this year’s awards, the highest number of applicants to date. The main award was won by Symetrica for their Discovery Radiation Portal Monitors - used in screening vehicles and cargo at ports and borders for radioactive threats.

The judging panel comprised leading figures from industry, academia and the public sector such as: Chief Constable Mike Barton, Chair of the Police Operational Requirements Board (ORB), Chief Constable of Durham Constabulary and National Policing Lead for the Intelligence Portfolio; Professor Chris Hankin, Director of the Institute for Security Science and Technology, Imperial College London and Director of CPNI’s Research Institute in Trustworthy Industrial Control Systems; and Paul Lincoln, Interim Director General of the Office for Security and Counter Terrorism (OSCT).


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