Automated Camera Systems to ID and Monitor Bird/Bat Species for OSW

Period of Performance: 01/01/2014 - 12/31/2014

$149K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Ornicept
330 E. Liberty, LL
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
Principal Investigator
Firm POC

Abstract

The monitoring of bird and bat activity at wind energy facilities pre- and post- construction has become the standard for onshore wind energy sites. Unfortunately, there are many limitations conducting these same studies offshore as the traditional methods such as point counts and netting cannot be easily conducted on the water. This leads to difficulties in project approval which has created a need for a remote monitoring system that can collect data on birds and bats offshore. Ornicept proposes the development of a system that uses cameras and acoustic monitoring to remotely monitor birds and bats. Using advanced machine learning algorithms, this data can be processed automatically to build descriptive and prescriptive species activity models that can be directed to mitigate the risk to wildlife imposed by offshore wind development. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits: By developing a complete, integrated solution for monitoring birds and bats in an offshore environment along with machine learning modeling, this system has the potential to make a substantive impact on the wind energy industry. This data can be used as part of a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Adaptive Management Plan to allow an offshore wind facility to operate in regions likely to pose a risk to wildlife. By carefully targeting curtailment to the conditions with greatest risk (as determined by the model), the wind facility can maximize its capacity factor while mitigating its risk to birds and bats.