RAF Lossiemouth installs radar to reduce bird jet strikes at base

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IN PICTURES

A bird radar has been installed at RAF Lossiemouth as part of efforts to reduce the number being sucked into jet engines.

Project Winchell is a 12-month trial that uses an advanced detection system to map avian activity around the airfield, and the first of its kind to be used by the airforce.

RAF LOSSIEMOUTH

Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) figures show there were 280 cases of birds being sucked into jet engines in 2017, while an increase in traffic at the base forced the need for a solution to the danger.

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Squadron Leader Douglas Timms, Lossiemouth project manager, said: “RAF Lossiemouth has a unique bird strike risk due to being a coastal airfield surrounded by farm land containing a large number of pig farms.

RAF LOSSIEMOUTH

“There are high numbers of corvids and seagulls in the vicinity of the RAF base and every winter around 10,000 geese arrive in Findhorn Bay.”

The commercial radar was selected for the trial due to its versatility and because it operated on a safe frequency for the airfield.RAF LOSSIEMOUTH

It provides real-time positional information of airborne targets in 360-degrees, accurately tracking bird activity out to six miles (10km) and up to a height of 700 metres.

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