Air safety

Did You Know…

… that ZEISS Is Contributing To Air Safety?

A flock of birds was the culprit responsible for the spectacular water landing on the Hudson River in January. Birds sucked into the two engines caused them to fail, forcing the pilot to make an emergency landing on the river. Situations like this are fairly common. Between 1990 and 2005, the American Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reported 65,000 incidents with bird strikes in the USA alone – in other words, about 1 in every 10,000 flights.

The new Mivotherm system from ZEISS can prevent such accidents. It precisely predicts the flight paths of flocks of birds down to the second. Birds fly back and forth as they look for food or a place to sleep. In addition to that, 50 billion migratory birds head south for the winter every year. For orientation, these flocks follow the highways of the air for orientation – rivers, valleys, and coastlines. These flight paths often cross the air lanes of airports. Supported by an ornithological analysis, Mivotherm recognizes and reports all such hazards at an early stage.

The early warning system is based on highly sensitive thermal imagers from ZEISS. It categorizes flocks of birds in hazard classes and immediately transmits this data to air traffic controllers. The system accounts for parameters such as size and number of birds, altitude, direction, and spread of the flock.

Researchers from Oberkochen have perfected the system in close cooperation with ornithologists. Thanks to its success, Mivotherm was recently honored with the Lilienthal Award for innovative ideas in aerospace technology. We wish you a safe flight!

11 August 2009