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French researchers create optical illusion to cut bird-strike risk

19 October 2018

Researchers at the Éthologie Animale et Humaine (Ethos) laboratory in the University of Rennes in France, working with Airbus, have designed a visual pattern to deter birds of prey (raptors) from high-risk areas around airports.

Raptors are one of the most common victims of bird strikes on aircraft, as they often cannot detect fast-moving objects with glazed or reflective surfaces until it is too late, so Ethos scientists sought to develop a new solution.

The Ethos/Airbus team began by observing how captive raptors reacted to a series of visual stimuli. More than 300 tests later, they concluded that avoidance behaviour was best triggered by an optical illusion.

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