Boston airport tests radar to avoid bird strikes
The system allows real-time tracking of even small birds up to five miles away.
Logan International Airport is testing a specialized radar system the Air Force uses to protect its fighters and NASA uses to guard its $2 billion shuttles, as it considers stepping up its efforts at preventing collisions between birds and airplanes.With a wildlife mitigation lineup that already includes five full-time employees, Logan has long had an aggressive bird-strike prevention program. It is an attractive landing spot, jutting into Boston Harbor and sitting along coastal migratory routes.
Merlin allows real-time tracking of birds as small as a starling and as far away as nearly five miles. A spinning blade of a horizontal radar provides an airport overview, while a vertical radar scans a specific runway. Birds appear as red dots, with tails indicating their flight path.
"We're not trying to pinpoint every bird down to a gnat's eyebrow," said Gary Andrews, DeTect's chief executive officer, who demonstrated the radar this week for The Associated Press. "We're trying to document bird patterns for a successful response."
Page 1 of 4