The Royal Aeronautical Society

The Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS)Boscombe Down 
Branch held its annual presentation competition for young professionals, the Joe Morrall Award, back on Tuesday 3rd March 2020.

The competition 
honours the well-respected aerospace engineer Joe Morrall and helps to provide continual professional development to those who participate. This year, entrants pitched their aerospace-themed lectures head-to-head in front of a small audience of QinetiQ staff and invited RAeS Boscombe Down Branch guests, with the chance to win a two-day trip to the RAeS Branches’ Conference in Paris* and entry into the national N E Rowe Award competition.

*Unfortunately, due to the subsequent development of the global COVID-19 pandemic, the RAeS Branches’ Conference has now been postponed and an alternative prize for the winner is being arranged by the branch committee.

Rebecca Bates (ASWC 56 Squadron Operational Analyst) delivered the winning presentation on the rise of renewable energy in the form of offshore wind farms and the impact of these on the detection of aircraft by the RAF’s radars. Her presentation covered a technical background of radar systems, and the historical and current methods used by the ASWC to identify and respond to these issues. She outlined a recent trials design and explained some of the techniques used to collect data and modify the sorties conducted in direct response to results obtained. She closed her presentation with an eye-opening ‘future of UK offshore wind farms’ and suggested blue-sky thinking engineering techniques which she thought may improve detection capability.

Rebecca’s lecture generated 
plenty of questions from the audience but she ably 
responded to them in a concise and informed manner, encouraging discussion with SME’s within the audience.