A scarcity of baseline data is a significant barrier to understanding and mitigating potential impacts of offshore development on birds and bats. Difficult and sometimes unpredictable conditions coupled with high expense make gathering such data a challenge. The Acoustic and Thermographic Offshore Monitoring (ATOM) system combines thermal imaging with acoustic and ultrasound sensors to continuously monitor bird and bat abundance, flight height, direction, and speed. ATOM’s development and potential capabilities are discussed, and illustrated using onshore and offshore test data obtained over 16 months in the eastern USA. Offshore deployment demonstrated birds tending to fly into winds and activity declining sharply in winds >10 km h−1. Passerines showed distinct seasonal changes in flight bearing and flew higher than non-passerines. ATOM data could be used to automatically shut down wind turbines to minimize collision mortality while simultaneously providing information for modeling activity in relation to weather and season.
Developing an automated risk management tool to minimize bird and bat mortality at wind facilities
Title: Developing an automated risk management tool to minimize bird and bat mortality at wind facilities
October 27, 2015
Willmott, J.; Forcey, G.; Hooton, L. (2015). Developing an automated risk management tool to minimize bird and bat mortality at wind facilities. Ambio, 44(4), 557-571.