When it comes to avoiding bird strikes, it is vital for airport operators and other aviation users to have as much accurate and up-to-date information as possible. As explained by Dionysios Ntampakis, former wildlife specialist at Athens International Airport, OIS Advanced Technology's new 3D avian radar provides a groundbreaking real-time view of the whole airfield airspace.
Bird strikes pose a significant hazard in aviation operations, with serious economic, environmental and safety implications. According to the World Birdstrike Association, 21,000 strikes are recorded every year worldwide and result in big financial losses in term of damages, delays or cancellations.
Fatal accidents caused by birds and other wildlife have led to more than 440 fatalities in military and civil aviation. Geographic range and ecological factors play an important role in the extent of this problem. The lack of proper waste management facilities in developing countries with unauthorised abattoirs and rubbish dumps can further negatively affect conditions.
Bird strikes can never be completely eliminated, and an integrated approach is widely recognised as the most effective strategy to resolve this conflict. Such a method adopts continuous monitoring and adaptation of the mitigation techniques together with procedures, policies and management commitment to improve safety standards.
The development of bird-detection radar technology has accelerated in response to the need to prevent bird strikes. Modern airports can now use state-of-the-art radar technology to track birds, detect their flight paths and avoid aircraft collisions.
Traditional 2D maritime radars have been adapted for monitoring an airport's take-off and landing corridors. However, their application in civil aviation has so far resulted in poor performance assessments regarding their technical evaluation, validation and operational capabilities. 2D bird radar has not met the requests and anticipated needs of military users either.
Some recent attempts to build on the existing 2D avian radar technology and develop their surveillance volume over space in three dimensions have been questioned due to issues with their objectivity and validity to address the bird-strike risk.
Existing 2D avian radar systems have been used over the past 40 years to provide situational awareness of bird activities in only two dimensions. After several decades of use, and following a series of developments and improvements, their application has not been operationally successful.
In this complex industry, advanced technology is needed to manage this hazard and contribute significantly to the mitigation of bird-strike risk in air forces and civil aviation. A true 3D radar designed to detect birds has been missing.
However, a promising new 3D bird radar has emerged from India's booming technology sector. Developed by OIS Advanced Technology, a corporation that specialises in radar along with a variety of advanced technology products and services, what is apparently the industry's first state-of-the-art 3D avian radar has recently been launched.
It covers the entire airfield airspace, and provides accurate and reliable information in a consistent manner. Within its 3D surveillance volume, the radar is a powerful tool to provide precise target information and an ability to locate birds and their activities at a range of 11km and an operational height of 10,000ft.
Investing in 3D radar technology for airport wildlife control could save a substantial amount of money for military and civil airport operators. The benefits for multi-runway airports with coverage of their space by a single 3D radar far outweigh those offered by 2D radars, where one system is required for each runway. OIS's new 3D radar is an industry breakthrough and the first true 3D radar that not only meets but also clearly exceeds the safety requirements of ICAO, FAA and other regulatory bodies.
Custom hardware provides real-time information and displays visually attractive data output screens for the ATC user. Armed with this kind of data, it is now possible for airports to accurately assess the strike risk and efficiently implement wildlife control and risk mitigation measures.
The OIS Advanced Technology radar can assist airport wildlife-hazard managers, airport operators, management staff, ATC, air forces, researchers, consultants and other end users in their decision-making processes to help prevent the occurrence of bird strikes and improve flight safety.
Such a dedicated technological product constitutes an important component of bird-hazard assessment and a useful tool to effectively manage the bird-strike risk on and off-airport. Traditional avian radar suppliers will now need to reinvent their product line.