Robotic Birds to be used for Protecting Airports
Bird Strike (collision between birds and an aircraft) is a big threat when it comes to the security of an aircraft. The recent and most famous among bird strikes is the US Airways Flight 1549 in which the plane had to do a controlled landing in the Hudson river after it struck with a flock of Canada Geese. All the passengers survived, but it showed the seriousness of the issue. Best thing which can be done to avoid these type of tragedies is to control the bird population around airports.
By triggering the instinct of birds, through the combination of silhouette and wing movement, chasing off birds becomes fully controllable.
Bird population can be controlled in several ways but, except the lethal ways, the birds quickly learn how to evade them. A solution is to use their natural instinct of fear of their predators to control them. This is what is exactly done by the Robird, as it is called by their creators Clear Flight Solutions. Only time will tell whether they get adapted to Robird also.
Robird is a remotely controlled robotic bird with realistic appearance and approximately the same weight as the real birds they try to imitate. It uses flapping wings for propulsion with a flight performance comparable to real birds. These robirds can be remotely flown by their human operators near the flock of birds to scare and send them away where they can’t harm any aircraft as well as themselves[In most bird strikes planes hit by birds remain safe and sound but the birds get killed by the impact].
Clear Flight Solutions have developed two types of Robirds:
- Falcon: It can be used to chase of birds up to 3 kg.
- Eagle: It can be used to chase of any kind of birds.
Canada’s Edmonton International Airport (EIA) is planning to use robirds for preventing bird strikes for saving the planes and life of birds alike. It will use Robirds under its Wildlife Management Plan to guide birds safely away from air traffic, while discouraging nesting near air-side operations and glide paths.
About Clear Flight Solutions
Clear Flight Solutions is a Netherlands based company specializing in two fields: bird control and industrial inspections but also does wildlife surveys. It was started by Dutch researchers who designed the Robird and then set up the company. Most of it’s tests are done at Weeze Airport in Germany because it is hard to test the Robirds in Netherlands due to Dutch law.