AIR NAVIGATION HAZARDS ASSOCIATED WITH A CENTRAL SOLAR TOWER

The risks of interception by an aircraft flying over a central solar electric plant have been examined from two points of view: (a) dazzlement of the pilot and passengers; (b) damage to the retina. The conditions foreseen for the Saint Chamas site for the various types of equipment can be summarized as follows: (a) overflight by commercial navigation 470 m above the field; (b) floor of military navigation fixed at 1000 m above the field, and (c) occasional overflight by general navigation 300 m above the field. The latter type of aircraft thus appears a priori to have the greatest risks, but the presence of the Marignane approach corridor severely limits traffic of this nature. The most important perturbation that a solar central station at Saint Chamas could create for aerial navigation is the risk of dazzlement to a commercial aircraft caused by accidental misalignment of a heliostat. This could be the result when a beam is intercepted by an aircraft; the probability of such an interception has been evaluated at 10 exp -6 , under the following very pessimistic hypotheses: (a) establishment of the dazzlement threshold at 1 sun; (b) permanent loss of control of one heliostat on an average over the entire lifetime of the station; and (c) the screening effect produced by the nose of the aircraft is not taken into account; considering this effect should in fact reduce the risk very significantly. This probability would then predict one such occurrence in 14 years under the traffic conditions foreseen for 1985. Occasional overflight at 300 m could lead to a higher risk of dazzlement. But in any case this dazzle will not inflict any damage on the pilot's retina. Finally the experimental programs planned in Albuquerque by ERDA and in Odeillo should allow evaluation of the effects on a pilot of a considerable reflected solar flux (surprise, dazzle) and the probability of unfavorable consequences, until now considered equal to unity. (ERA citation 03:049786)

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Microfiche copies only.
  • Corporate Authors:

    Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique

    15 Quai Anatole France
    75700 Paris,   France 

    Elcon Laboratory, Incorporated

    Peabody, MA  United States  01960

    Department of Energy

    1000 Independence Avenue, SW
    Washington, DC  United States  20585
  • Authors:
    • Sicart, F
    • Gentili, B
  • Publication Date: 1978-4

Media Info

  • Pagination: 46 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00186808
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: National Technical Information Service
  • Contract Numbers: EY-76-C-04-0789
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Feb 27 1979 12:00AM