Project puts performance of bird detection systems to test

Researchers from Eberswalde University of Applied Sciences (HNEE) are testing sensor-based automatic bird detection systems. These are intended to prevent protected species of raptors and large birds from being injured by the operation of wind turbines. Due birds of prey and large birds being sensitive to wind energy turbines, large areas in Brandenburg are currently ruled out for wind energy sites. The regional planning communities have difficulties to implement the goals of the energy strategy and to make two percent of the state’s area available for wind energy.

“HNEE is a national and international driving force for sustainable development and has been committed to sustainable research and teaching for more than 190 years. The increased expansion of wind energy presents us all with conservation and social challenges. This is where anti-collision systems can come in as a potential solution option.,”

Siegfried Rieger, professor of wildlife biology, wildlife management and hunting operations at the HNEE

The project aims at enabling the future use remote-sensing-based bird detection systems such as radar sensors or RGB camera systems in areas of conflict in Brandenburg. So far, there is little knowledge about the technical performance of marketable and operational systems. In the project now underway, accuracy and reliability of bird protestion systems are to be empirically proven at specific locations characteristic of Brandenburg.

The use of remote sensing-based bird detection systems, especially active and passive sensor systems such as radar sensors and RGB camera systems have the potential to detect approaching birds early and then automatically facilitate the wind turbine being switched off in time and put into a so-called spin mode. However, the current state of knowledge about the performance and site suitability of individual systems in the application case in Brandenburg is still limited.”

Jan-Peter Mund, professor of geoinformation and remote sensing at HNEE

The project is implemented in cooperation with the Competence Center for Nature Conservation and Energy Transition (KNE) and is funded by the Ministry of Energy of the federal state of Brandenburg.

“The KNE has been following the rapid development of different anti-collision systems since they emerged five years ago. With this project, we want to improve the empirical state of knowledge about the performance of the systems and, in particular, investigate their suitability for the respective site requirements in Brandenburg. We are convinced that the results will also attract attention beyond Brandenburg. As a cooperation partner of the HNEE, we are therefore pleased to be able to make an important technical contribution to conflict prevention on site,” says Michael Krieger, KNE Managing Director.

open crop land test site for performance test

The results of the project by HNEE and KNE are to serve as a basis for discussion with decision-makers in the state of Brandenburg. The project engages stakeholders through a project working group as an advisory body. It includes representatives of the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Employment and Energy, the Ministry of Rural Development, Environment and Agriculture, the Brandenburg State Office for the Environment, the Brandenburg State Bird Sanctuary, the BWE Berlin/Brandenburg State Association, the state office of recognized nature conservation associations, several regional planning communities and the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation.

The project started in 2021 and will be implemented until the end of 2022.