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 July 24, 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 July 24, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-Free Travel

Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-Free Travel

AP (July 23, 2014) 'Ray' the robotic parking valet at Dusseldorf Airport in Germany lets travelers to avoid the hassle of finding a parking spot before heading to the check-in desk. (July 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Boeing Ups Outlook on 52% Profit Jump

Boeing Ups Outlook on 52% Profit Jump

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 23, 2014) Commercial aircraft deliveries rose seven percent at Boeing, prompting the aerospace company to boost full-year profit guidance- though quarterly revenues missed analyst estimates. Bobbi Rebell reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Europe's Car Market on the Rebound?

Europe's Car Market on the Rebound?

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 23, 2014) Daimler kicks off a round of second-quarter earnings results from Europe's top carmakers with a healthy set of numbers - prompting hopes that stronger sales in Europe will counter weakness in emerging markets. Hayley Platt reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
9/11 Commission Members Warn of Terror "fatigue" Among American Public

9/11 Commission Members Warn of Terror "fatigue" Among American Public

Reuters - US Online Video (July 22, 2014) Ten years after releasing its initial report, members of the 9/11 Commission warn of the "waning sense of urgency" in combating terrorists attacks. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
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:
from the past week

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