Radar & Water Towers

Couple of questions (which I suspect are stupid questions but hey).

First up would a flight radar have a significant effect on a UAS and create problems also would flying near one where there was no technical issues create some concerns by others. For reference the area is not in a FRZ or NFZ.

Secondly what are the concerns around water towers? Is it because they are tallish structures or is it a critical national infrastructure issue as it is part of the water supply and therefore “restricted”.

Sorry if these are stupid questions just something I wouldn’t mind capturing near to both structures.

a radar would not cause too many problems, unless you were close to the head (the spinny bit). The largest air defense radars are safe from 100 metres or so to people. As for interference, well they dont operate on 2.4ghz all the time, the height identifying ones use a sweep of frequencys, but again they tend to be the air defence long range ones. Airports rely on SSR more for height, their radar turns faster, is lower power and has less range, so if you are not in an FRZ you have nothing to fear there.
So really unless you are planning on sending the drone over a milatary air defence site to takke some photos of the radome, then you should be ok.

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Thank you.

Area in question is:

Assuming I stay away from the unit itself I should be fine then? On both the technical and security elements?

I suspect flying over Fylingdales or GCHQ might create some issues haha.

yes even more so, that is PAR (presision approach radar) which is only a 10mile or so range, which means its lower power than the general airfield one, and the water tower is generally only bad if you crash into it, course you could also lose line of sight by your drone going behind it (which you should avoid under the drone code) but the PAR wont interfere with your plans.

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Thank you, so not so stupid questions thank you @Jimmymac for your help. Very helpful.

Obviously would avoid both structures to avoid crashes and potential loss of VLOS but other than than looks like I should be ok.

Sorry to disagree, here’s my radio perspective:
Radar has a carrier frequency yes, like any radio. And it is not in the 2.4GHz or 5.8GHz ISM bands where most drones operate. However, radar works by sending a very short high-power pulses towards a target, the radio wave bounces back and is received by the Radar receiver. The powers are very high, as you can imagine the received signal is very weak. We are talking often several megawatts peak power.

Radio receivers are not perfect, they have components which provide selectivity, the ability for your radio to receiver the signal you want and reject all others at other carrier frequencies. However, if the victim (the drone) is physically close to the aggressor (the Radar) the received out-of-band power will be very high, this will probably overload the drone’s radio front-end.

You could see loss of control of the drone as it would be deaf to your commands. It could lose GPS lock as GPS receivers are extremely sensitive (they have to decode signals transmitted 12,400 miles away). You could also experience loss of the camera image, or at least banding or interference on the display.

Military receivers are hardened to some extent, but commercial equipment such as a mass produced drone, would be quite vulnerable I think.

If you really want to fly there, perhaps start to fly in the Radar beam a long way off, see how it goes, and fly slowly towards the tower to determine any problems. But you won’t know if the Radar is on or off, or they may turn it on mid-flight. These radars are not safe to humans either - stay safe.