Protecting Wildlife... New Technology Could Protect Birds of Prey Flying near Wind Turbines
Researchers at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory's National Wind Technology Center near Boulder, Colorado, recently hosted trained eagles and their handlers from Auburn University to test a new, unmanned detection system that will detect airborne objects like birds and decide which turbines to turn off and which to keep running. Researchers are using trained eagles to assist with data programming so that the computer can track birds' flight patterns. If an eagle is detected, the detection system can automatically shut down a wind turbine in as little as 30 seconds. The test flights covered a distance of roughly 250 yards and each one took less than a minute.