Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
h a l f b a k e r y
I didn't say you were on to something, I said you were on something.

idea: add, search, annotate, link, view, overview, recent, by name, random

meta: news, help, about, links, report a problem

account: browse anonymously, or get an account and write.



Cryptochromagnetic FlockOff

Duck duck goose.
  (+1, -2)
(+1, -2)
  [vote for,

Research indicates that migratory birds may see the Earths magnetic field lines and use this to orient on their wintering grounds and back again.
Could aircraft not be eqipped with EMP emitters to disrupt flocks before the craft runs into them? I can't find a single paper on magnetic bird deterrents.

Cryptochromes let migratory birds see magnetic field lines. http://www.eurekale.../plos-dmb092407.php
[2 fries shy of a happy meal, Jan 17 2009]

Migrating songbirds tested in computer-controlled Emlen funnels use stellar cues for a time-independent compass http://jeb.biologis...nt/full/204/22/3855
[Spacecoyote, Jan 17 2009]


       Birds are capable of orienting themselves by the stars if their compass fails them. I'll find a link.
Spacecoyote, Jan 17 2009

       I think you're up against several factors here.   

       (a) Magnetism generally drops off with distance as something like distance^4 or maybe distance^3.   

       (b) If a plane is travelling at 250mph (at takeoff, where most birds suffer plane-strikes), and the bird is heading towards it at 20mph, and the bird takes 2.4 seconds (for instance) to react, then the field has to be significant at a distance of 317 yards (or, if the bird is French, 289.7 metres).   

       (c) If you plan to deter south-migrating birds, you'll wind up with an aircraft covered in north-migrating birds, and vice versa the other way.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 17 2009

       I was thinking that a near spherical pulse from the nose of the plane wouldn't disrupt on-board electronics and that overloading the birds senses may cause them to scatter or vear away from the irritant much the same way that whales can't stand Sonar and will beach themselves to get away from the sound. The direction of migration shouldn't matter as long as the birds want to get away, but proximity could certainly be a problem.   

       Good link [Spacecoyote]. But ya gotta feel sorry for the one that has to carry the sextant. : )   

       Another difficulty is that the single biggest problem bird, at least in the US, doesn't migrate in the normal fashion. Canada Geese don't fly north and south for temperature reasons, they fly because their food source vanishes.
Unfortunately this means that significant flocks become non- migratory in conditions where non-seasonal food sources are readily available, such as large cities. I'm not sure, therefore that the have the magnetic migratory faculties that are present in some others.
MechE, Jan 17 2009

       I wonder how they manage to find their way around the big magnetic hole in the South Atlantic...
RayfordSteele, Jan 19 2009


back: main index

business  computer  culture  fashion  food  halfbakery  home  other  product  public  science  sport  vehicle