They make Hawk drones to keep birds away from airports and prevent them from colliding with planes

Bird strikes from commercial aircraft are a huge problem, costing millions of euros per year. According to a study by the International Bird Strike Committee, more than 50,000 such incidents are recorded in the world. To get an idea, a 2001 investigation that was done with data collected only from the United States and Canada, the civil aviation industry spent About $1,400 million (approximately 1,407 million euros) In repairing the damage caused by these accidents.

Engineers at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands have found that a robotic imitation of a peregrine falcon could be the solution. Robot can keep real birds off flight path And, thus, avoid spending that costs millions of euros per year.

Professor Charlotte Hemelrijk, from the university’s Faculty of Science and Engineering, said airports often put in place deterrent systems to scare away birds, such as fireworks or loudspeakers that play distress messages of common species, However, he points out that, over time, these measures lose effectiveness.

Faced with this situation, Hamelrijk and his team came up with an alternative that seems to be more effective: Robot Hawks. “It seems that the birds do not distinguish [RobotFalcon] of a royal falcon”, emphasizes the expert.

How is Robot Falcon?

The size and shape of the prototype he designed is similar to that of a real falcon and, to imitate it, he used carbon fiber and fiberglass for the body and painted it to imitate the color of the animal’s feathers.

Instead of having wings, the robotic Falcon has two tiny battery-powered propellers that give it the autonomy to fly. during 15 minutes at a speed of 30 mph (48.28 km/h). The robotic bird does not operate on its own, but is controlled remotely via a human operator, thanks to the camera on the device.

To test the effectiveness of their project, the researchers flew a conventional quadcopter drone for three months over a field near Varkam, a Dutch city. the data they got He compared them with results from 15 years ago From trials of other preventive methods by the Royal Netherlands Air Force.

Hamelrijk team proves their robotic falcon will be more effective as it clears birds’ territory more quickly and put them away for a long time. Additionally, the researchers saw no signs of the birds becoming accustomed to the drones during the months of testing.

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