New drone drives birds away from airports

Birds at airports are undesirable because they can cause dangerous situations. They are often taken away by birds of prey or sounds. However, there are a number of drawbacks to the availability of birds of prey. They are of limited use and it does not always work. That is why researchers from CalTech are trying to use autonomous drones.

Birds in the engine

Following the emergency landing of an aircraft in the Hudson River in 2009, researcher Soon-Jo Chung wanted to see which techniques could make the airspace safer. This plane flew through a flock of geese, after which both engines went down.

Researchers study whether drones can scare away birds in the air. The behavior of birds has been extensively studied. If there are threats, the outer birds of the swarm adapt, after which a domino effect exists and the whole swarm takes up a different focus. But if there is an abrupt threat, the birds just spread. They have made a mathematical model of the behavior of birds in a swarm.


This knowledge is used to have drones perform specific actions when a group of birds is detected. The software of the drones is now being tested, always on other types of birds and with larger swarms. In a test, the drone succeeded in keeping a flock of birds together and moving them. This technique can eventually make flying even safer.