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Since 2012, we have been innovating with Boulder Imaging, machine vision experts, to reduce or eliminate the chance of Bald and Golden eagles colliding with rotating wind turbine blades.
In 2015, we launched a subsidiary, IdentiFlight, LLC, with the goal of developing a fully automated system to detect and classify flying wildlife which then signals the curtailment of turbines or triggers deterrents to avoid collisions. Currently the IdentiFlight system is being tested on an operating wind farm in the US.
We've always understood the necessity for wildlife and wind energy projects to co-exist. The concept for IdentiFlight came from our own need to develop and construct projects that allow this sustainable relationship. The system has been designed for use at operating wind farms and to quantify potential eagle risk more effectively at prospective sites. We plan to work closely with a wind and wildlife non-profit organisation, federal and state wildlife agencies, and wind turbine operators to further test, refine, and validate the system.
An eagle’s average horizontal flight speed ranges from 14 to 19 metres per second. For a rotating turbine taking 30 seconds to stop, the turbine must be alerted to the presence of an eagle before it reaches 400 to 600 metres out.
IdentiFlight detects moving objects at 1,000 metres out and makes correct, real-time classification of the raptor's features, proximity and velocity which are critical to the IdentiFlight system's ability to effectively trigger species specific curtailment and avoid collisions.
Our algorithms use size, shape, colour and flight characteristics to detect eagles
A network of four IdentiFlight systems is operating at a windfarm in Wyoming. During the first half of 2016, this network will complete product development and testing. An independent contractor has been hired through the American Wind Wildlife Institute to test the ability of IdentiFlight to detect and classify eagles in time to initiate curtailment of nearby wind turbines. A final report will be available in the summer of 2016.
We are now consulting with windfarm developers, owners and operators to determine prospective layouts of IdentifFlight networks in existing and proposed windfarms in anticipation of deploying IdentiFlight as part of experimental Advanced Conservation Practices to conserve eagles upon completion of product testing.
We will introduce IdentiFlight in late 2016 as a tool to gather eagle use data at prospective wind
sites. The estimation of eagle fatality risk at a site is sensitive to the amount of observation made; however, with IdentiFlight’s ability to remain on station for long periods of time, in many cases the estimated risk may be significantly reduced.
Assesses flight trajectory to signal curtailment of turbines