Artificial Intelligence: IdentiFlight’s AI-Powered Bird Detection Systems Save Eagles From Wind Turbines

The system prevents protected species, including eagles, from dying of collisions with wind turbine blades.

It’s a “green-versus-green” conundrum. Windfarms generate emission-free energy on the one hand, but cause the deaths of wildlife such as protected eagle species, on the other.  IdentiFlight’s smart cameras, however, provide an automated curtailment system that slows or stops wind turbines when it senses the risk of collision due to inbound wildlife. (Electrek)

How it works

IdentiFlight combines high-performance optical systems, cutting edge AI and machine vision technology, and observation towers into an autonomous warning system.

The system processes the images of birds as far as a kilometer out. It can get a fix on their 3D location, speed, trajectory, and species. All this is possible within a few seconds of detection.

The system then warns the wind farm management by sending a curtailment signal to the customer’s Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition (SCADA) network. It does this via Open Platform Communications (OPC) or other means.

Study shows the IdentiFlight technology cuts avian deaths by 82%

A study compared the number of eagle deaths observed at Duke Energy’s (NYSE: DUK) Top of the World Windpower Facility in Wyoming with those at a control site without IdentiFlight about 15 km away.

Golden eagles Aquila chrysaetos were common at both facilities. Other large and abundant bird species that could collide with turbines included turkey vultures Cathartes aura, red‐tailed hawks Buteo jamaicensis, ferruginous hawks Buteo regalis, and common ravens Corvus corax.

The study found that there was an 82% reduction in the fatality rate at the IdentiFlight treatment site relative to the control site.


The study concluded: “Automated curtailment of wind turbine operation substantially reduced eagle fatalities. This technology, therefore, has the potential to lessen the conflict between wind energy and raptor conservation. Although automated curtailment reduced fatalities, they were not fully eliminated. Therefore, automated curtailment, as implemented here, is not a panacea and its efficacy could be improved if considered in conjunction with other mitigation actions.”

Related Story:    Machine Learning To Identify Whale Sounds, Warn Ships

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