CoolIP index                                                          Most recent edit: Saturday March 16, 2013

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Minimizing harm to birds on off-shore AWES

Previously on the Forum we consulted with a professional bird-control biologist about how to keep seabirds from roosting on offshore VTOL AWES platforms and critically fouling wings, motor windings, sensors and so on.

The ornithologist was pessimistic that noise makers could work reliably, predicting that many birds would simply habituate. His main suggestion was to eliminate all horizontal perches, which is a major design challenge for proposed kiteplanes with hundreds of feet of level wing and prop surfaces. No convincing solution to the offshore bird problem has yet been proposed.

A new offshore VTOL AWES bird problem to ponder is what would happen to birds on or near the propellers if they power-up suddenly (and also as the aircraft lands after a long flight session). Obviously, birds could be chopped to bits by sudden spin-up or normal take-offs landings, and even dangerously damage brittle composite propeller blades.

A partial solution in start-up flight software is to slowly rotate the turbines first, to shoo away nearby birds, before powering up for high RPM VTOL operation.

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