The Lindbergh Foundation Believes that Innovative Science and Technology Hold the Key to Addressing Humanity’s Environmental and Productivity Challenges

Esteban Fernandez-Juricic

Bradley Blackwell



Esteban Fernandez-Juricic, Ph.D.

Bradley F. Blackwell, Ph.D.

“Developing an Alternative Lighting System to Minimize Bird Collisions with Aircraft

Category: Aviation, Animal Conservation

This project is sponsored by:  Reeve Lindbergh

The frequency of bird-aircraft collisions (or bird-strikes) has been on the rise. Bird-strikes cause economic losses associated with aircraft damage and downtime, serious safety issues for air-travelers, and the mortality to the animals involved. Aircraft landing lights have the potential to enhance detection of approaching aircraft by birds. However, birds see their world very differently from the way humans do.

The purpose of this project is to establish the characteristics of the landing lights (e.g., spectral properties) that will increase avian detection and result in avoidance of approaching aircraft under different environmental conditions. The findings of this project can be used to develop a novel lighting system intended to reduce bird strikes. The next step will be to test prototypes of this system in a training or commercial air fleet. If successful, this novel system could reduce the costs to civil aviation associated with bird strikes as well as the threats to human safety.

Project Update

AvWeb Article - July 16, 2012

Journal of Applied Ecology:  Exploiting avian vision with aircraft lighting to reduce bird strikes

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