Bird Strike Committee Proceedings


Date of this Version

September 2007


Over the past ten years, development of bird detection radars for use as real time aircraft birdstrike avoidance systems has moved beyond research and development into active deployment of the technology as an operational tool in a BASH program (Kelly 2006). A key challenge in use of avian radars at both military and commercial airfields however has been integration of the greatly expanded level of risk information provided by avian radar technology into the current procedures and methods for setting bird strike risk conditions at airports and airfields. Over the past two years, much of the effort at DeTect, Inc. has been directed at operational deployment of modern avian radar technology and extensive lessons learned have resulted from deploying over 30 MERLIN Avian Radar Systems throughout the U.S., Canada and Europe.

This paper provides an overview of the MERLIN Air Traffic Control (MERLIN ATC) display, a new interface to DeTect’s MERLIN Aircraft Birdstrike Avoidance Radar system that provides significantly improved situational awareness to controllers and airfield operators and presents bird activity information in an operationally usable, strike risk-based format. The MERLIN ATC includes automated determination and display of the current strike risk in real time for the approach and departure corridors, and was designed specifically to facilitate delivery of automated risk information in the Air Traffic Control (ATC) tower environment.