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New device to scare birds away from planes

London, Jan 21, 2013, PTi: 23:21 IST
Researchers have developed a new device that fires low frequency sound waves, below the range of human hearing, to scare birds away from flight paths. Bird strikes worldwide cause over a billion dollars in damage every year, and put passengers and crew at risk.

To scare avians away, a new device will fire low-frequency sound waves at flocks as they near busy flight paths, New Scientist reported.

Noise makers are often used to scare birds away from airports or contaminated waterways. But loud sounds also annoy any humans within earshot.

The new system developed by Technology International, based in Laplace, Louisiana, aims to deter birds using infra-sound, below the range of human hearing.

The Avian Infra-sound Non-lethal Denial System has a passive infra-sound detector that listens for an approaching flock, and activates a series of rotary subwoofers that generate high-intensity, but low-frequency sound. The device worked well in tests.

Thunderstorms also emit lots of infra-sound, which may be why birds are
naturally averse to it, said Abdo Husseiny, the firm’s CEO.

Husseiny added that the system could be used to keep pigeons away from public squares, or divert flocks away from wind turbines. He said that the equipment should be commercially available
within two years.

Infra-sound or low-frequency sound is lower in frequency than 20 Hertz or cycles per second, the “normal” limit of human hearing.

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