Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Taking a bird's eye view could cut wildlife collisions with aircraft

Date:
July 9, 2012
Source:
British Ecological Society (BES)
Summary:
Using lights to make aircraft more visible to birds could help reduce the risk of bird strikes, new research has found. The study examined how Canada geese responded to different radio-controlled model aircraft.

Using lights to make aircraft more visible to birds could help reduce the risk of bird strikes, new research by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has found. The study, which examined how Canada geese responded to different radio-controlled model aircraft, is the first of its kind and is published in the British Ecological Society's Journal of Applied Ecology.

Aircraft collisions with wildlife – primarily birds – is a serious and growing threat to civil and military aviation, as well as an expensive one: bird strikes cost civil aviation alone more than $1.2 billion a year world-wide.

Although almost all efforts to prevent bird strikes focus on the airport environment, the fate of US Airways flight 1549 – which was forced to make a dramatic landing in the Hudson River in New York in 2009 after several Canada geese were sucked into its engines – shows that effectively reducing bird strikes requires developing strategies that work far beyond the airport perimeter.

Now, a team of researchers from the USDA, Indiana State University and Purdue University, is taking a bird's eye view of the problem. According to Dr Bradley Blackwell of the USDA's National Wildlife Research Center: “Birds see so much differently than humans do, so we cannot translate our own perceptual understanding to the problem of birds avoiding aircraft.”

Using knowledge about birds' visual systems, the team tested the response of Canada geese to three radio-controlled aircraft: the first with lights off, the second with lights on, and the third painted to resemble a bird of prey.

They found geese respond more quickly to the threat of an approaching model aircraft when its lights were on, making it more visible to the birds.

The study also found that the geese were just as cautious of the standard radio-controlled aircraft as the predator model, an important finding. According to Dr Blackwell: “Because Canada geese will respond to aircraft approach as a potential threat, the theory behind how animals respond to predators is very applicable to understanding the response to aircraft approach, and we can enhance this response via lighting.”

The research – the first to combine visual sensory ecology with anti-predator behaviour – could set the aviation industry on the right track to developing lighting systems that will reduce the rate of bird strikes.

Next, the team hopes to expand their understanding of the visual ecology of other bird species commonly struck by aircraft, so they can design aircraft lighting that will be seen by a range of species. “This is only the first step. As well as lighting, we also want to understand how to manipulate aircraft paint schemes so that birds find them easier to detect. It's exciting work,” he says.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by British Ecological Society (BES). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Bradley F Blackwell et al. Exploiting avian vision with aircraft lighting to reduce bird strikes. Journal of Applied Ecology, 10 July 2012 DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2664.2012.02165.x

Cite This Page:

British Ecological Society (BES). "Taking a bird's eye view could cut wildlife collisions with aircraft." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 July 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120709231041.htm>.
British Ecological Society (BES). (2012, July 9). Taking a bird's eye view could cut wildlife collisions with aircraft. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120709231041.htm
British Ecological Society (BES). "Taking a bird's eye view could cut wildlife collisions with aircraft." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120709231041.htm (accessed October 1, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Japan Looks To Faster Future As Bullet Train Turns 50

Japan Looks To Faster Future As Bullet Train Turns 50

Newsy (Oct. 1, 2014) Japan's bullet train turns 50 Wednesday. Here's a look at how it's changed over half a century — and the changes it's inspired globally. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
US Police Put Body Cameras to the Test

US Police Put Body Cameras to the Test

AFP (Oct. 1, 2014) Police body cameras are gradually being rolled out across the US, with interest surging after the fatal police shooting in August of an unarmed black teenager. Duration: 02:18 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Japan Celebrates 'bullet Train' Anniversary

Raw: Japan Celebrates 'bullet Train' Anniversary

AP (Oct. 1, 2014) A ceremony marking 50 years since Japan launched its Shinkansen bullet train was held on Wednesday in Tokyo. The latest model can travel from Tokyo to Osaka, a distance of 319 miles, in two hours and 25 minutes. (Oct. 1) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Robotic Hair Restoration

Robotic Hair Restoration

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) A new robotic procedure is changing the way we transplant hair. The ARTAS robot leaves no linear scarring and provides more natural results. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins