Protecting nature in a renewable world
IdentiFlight Aerial Detection System
Avian collisions with turbine blades have been an issue within the wind energy industry and an impediment to growth. The IdentiFlight® Aerial Detection System was developed to address this problem and promote the successful coexistence of avian wildlife and wind energy. The IdentiFlight system blends artificial intelligence with the high-precision optical technology to detect eagles and protect them from collisions with rotating wind turbine blades.
Automatic detection and species determination occur within seconds for birds flying within a one kilometer hemisphere around an IdentiFlight tower. If an eagle’s speed and flight path indicate risk of collision, an alert is generated to shut down that specific wind turbine. By empowering wind farm operators with highly targeted, informed and objective curtailment decisions, unnecessary and costly interruptions are avoided and conservation of protected species is achieved. IdentiFlight is an affiliate of Boulder Imaging, machine vision experts.
How it works
IdentiFlight’s technology leadership is enabled by combining state-of-the-art image-sensor arrays (for hemispherical spatial detection), high-magnification stereoscopic sensors (for position, trajectory, and species identification), and high-performance artificial intelligence algorithms for fully autonomous real time image processing. All wind farm towers operate as one fully-networked, autonomous system with complete aerial coverage.
Proprietary software processes the images to determine 3D position, velocity, trajectory, and protected species of interest, all within less than five seconds of detection. By detecting a bird as far as one kilometer out and classifying it as an eagle (or not) in real time, the IdentiFlight system arms wind farm operators with critical visual and quantitative data needed to avoid eagle collisions.
field tested and proven
The IdentiFlight system is currently undergoing real-world testing and validation in pilot programs at a U.S. wind farms with elevated eagle activity. Additional collaboration with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has further increased industry exposure and aided in the dialogue on the successful co-existence of renewable energy and endangered species.
A third party audit report on IdentiFlight focused on the effectiveness and accuracy of IdentiFlight was recently completed by The Peregrine Fund and the American Wind Wildlife Institute and is expected to be released in late May 2017.