Wide-eyed: scientists have discovered a new way to scare away birds at airports

Scientists at the University of Rennes I jointly with the staff of the National centre for scientific research of France have discovered a new way to scare off a threat to planes of birds from airports. Studies have shown that the greatest impact on birds have a large image of wide-open eyes that gradually increase. The experiment was conducted in a French airport “Tarbes-Lourdes-pyrénées”.

Today, there are many ways to deter birds. Most often it is audiostrobe, a unpleasant loud sounds. In some countries, airport staff collect nests or even put scarecrows along the runway. However, none of these methods might work 100%.

Every year airlines spend about 650 million dollars to resolve damages a result of collisions of animals with Airbus. Unfortunately, such incidents happen not only with large machines. Small private planes often suffer the crash because of “encounters” with birds, despite the passage of mandatory certification, which confirms the ability of the aircraft to get to the nearest airfield even when hit by birds in engine.

The invention of French scientists, in contrast to other developments, is aimed at predators, which, according to ornithologists, I’m afraid the air less than other birds. In addition, because of the peculiarities of their vision, predatory birds unable to assess the approaching aircraft as a threat, why not trying to avoid a collision.

The experiment to identify the new method took place in two stages: the study of birds in captivity and practical application at the airport. First, scientists for hours showed subjects in captivity, image of a spiral, the black circle, the black stars, wave gradient, circle filled black to white gradient with the simulated volume and the approaching wide-open eyes. Clearly the birds reacted on follow picture. For the most accurate result, researchers have tested about 30 birds of different species: eagles, falcons, kites, vultures, eagles and hawks.

During the second stage, scientists have found in “Tarbes-Lourdes-Pyrenees” two led display next to the runway. During the week they broadcast continuously selected in the first phase image. According to the results of the experiment revealed that the number of predators of the subject area was reduced in 2,8 times, and in other parts of the terminal opposite increased 3.6 times.

Exactly when this technology will appear with other countries is still unknown. Despite the very impressive results of the first two studies, it is necessary to examine in more detail the work of such displays throughout the airport. It is likely that the image will be able to banish the animals from the territory of the runways, thus dangerously increasing their concentration in the zone around the terminal.

Clifton Nichols

Clifton Nichols

Hi! I’m Clifton and I am a full-stack engineer with a passion for building performant and scalable applications that are beautiful and easy to use.

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