Defense

December 30, 2013

Cadet research seeks to end costly bird-strikes on aircraft

Bird strikes cost more than $700 million in damage annually to both military and commercial airplanes – putting both lives and property at risk.

But a group of cadets at the U.S. Air Force Academy, Colo., are working on ways to scare birds away from the aircraft, particularly during take-offs and landings; when the majority of bird strikes occur.

Led by professors in the Aeronautics Research Center, cadet research focuses on the feasibility of mounting speakers onto airplanes, using noise to frighten the birds away.

Last spring, the cadets proved that noise is an effective deterrent, but are now experimenting to find out if speakers created for helicopter use can also be used on faster aircraft without damaging the speakers or losing volume.

“We are seeing if we can incorporate the type of speakers that are already designed for flight,” said Cadet 1st Class Nathan Armes, who designed the wind tunnel experiment. “They really are designed for slower speeds, but we’re seeing if they can withstand faster flight.”

Helicopters generally travel about 150 mph while planes average about 260 mph. At faster speeds, volume tends to decline. The researchers are attempting to discover if the volume remains at the decibel levels necessary for birds to hear the noise and be scared away from the airplanes – even at faster speeds.

“The average bird has a hearing between 1,000 hertz and 4,000 hertz,” Armes said. “So far, we know the speaker can be heard at 2,000 hertz. We’re pushing the speaker beyond its production limits. What we found is that we’re losing decibels at faster speeds, but there are some points when it can still be heard.”

The cadets are using one of the Academy’s wind tunnels to conduct their experiments, and results on the first experiments will be available by the end of January.

“It’s definitely within the realm of feasibility,” Armes said. “We’re still assessing if it’s effective at higher levels and at stronger wind speeds.”

Cadets are investing still more effort into the idea. Cadet Blake Abrecht is in charge of research into how pilots could react to airplanes equipped with flashing lights and loud sounds to scare birds.

“We want to know if it will interfere with pilots,” said Capt. Jeff Newcamp, the Academy instructor overseeing the bird-strike research. “So, we’re including that in the flight simulator. If there’s an aircraft landing, and there’s another plane with flashing light and noise — how will another pilot respond?”

With about 75 percent of the data collected, Abrecht says they’ve shown that pilots perform slightly better with the flashing lights and noise.

“Maybe it just helps them concentrate more,” he said.

Cadets will finish gathering data this semester, and begin to analyze their results during the spring semester.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines December 17, 2014

News: U.S. Air Force tanker platform slated for year-end debut - Boeing is planning for first flight of its 767-2C – upon which the U.S. Air Force’s new KC-46 tanker will be based – by year’s end, six months late. Northrop Grumman wins $657.4 million deal to supply drones to South Korea - Northrop Grumman has won...
 
 

NASA launches new Micro-g NExT for undergraduates

NASA is offering undergraduate students an opportunity to participate in a new microgravity activity called Micro-g Neutral Buoyancy Experiment Design Teams. The deadline for proposals is Jan. 28, 2015. Micro-g NExT challenges students to work in teams to design and build prototypes of spacewalking tools to be used by astronauts for spacewalk training in the...
 
 
launch1

Storm fails to quench liftoff of secret reconnaissance satellite

The fiery launch of an Atlas V (541), among the most powerful of the venerable Atlas family, briefly dispelled the gloom over Californiaís Central Coast on the evening of Dec. 12. A team of personnel from United Launch Allianc...
 

 
Coast Guard photograph

Navy demonstrates unmanned helicopter operations aboard Coast Guard cutter

http://static.dvidshub.net/media/video/1412/DOD_102145893/DOD_102145893-512×288-442k.mp4 Coast Guard photograph An MQ-8B Fire Scout UAS is tested off the Coast Guard Cutter Bertholf near Los Angeles, Dec. 5 2014. The Coast...
 
 
GPS-OCX

GPS III, OCX successfully demonstrate key satellite command, control capabilities

Lockheed Martin and Raytheon successfully completed the fourth of five planned launch and early orbit exercises to demonstrate new automation capabilities, information assurance and launch readiness of the worldís most powerfu...
 
 

Aerojet Rocketdyne successfully demonstrates 3D printed rocket propulsion system for satellites

Aerojet Rocketdyne has successfully completed a hot-fire test of its MPS-120 CubeSat High-Impulse Adaptable Modular Propulsion System. The MPS-120 is the first 3D-printed hydrazine integrated propulsion system and is designed to provide propulsion for CubeSats, enabling missions not previously available to these tiny satellites. The project was funded out of the NASA Office of Chief...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>