Bird Detection Added to FOD Radar System

According to Xsight Systems, 40 percent of bird-related incidents occur on the ground. Additionally, 44 percent of the most damaging accidents involving birds happen at ground level, said Alon Nitzan, CEO of the Tel Aviv-based company. With that in mind, Xsight has added new BirdWize algorithms to its FODetect airport radar systems to detect and track bird activity on airport property.

The development of FODetect was driven by the 2000 Concorde accident, in which the supersonic airliner struck a metal strip of foreign object debris (FOD) on takeoff from Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris. The Air France Concorde subsequently crashed with the loss of all on board, the only fatal accident in Concorde history.

Xsight’s FODetect system, in use at major airports including Boston Logan, uses millimeter-wave radar in conjunction with electro-optic technology and advanced processing software to detect and identify foreign objects on runways. The addition of BirdWize adds automatic bird recognition — able to detect the size of the birds as well as their location.

Another system named RunWize sorts out the location and movement of birds, enabling controllers to organize and coordinate takeoff and landing traffic safely. In addition, wildlife specialists can use the data to study patterns in bird behavior on and around airport property to help generate strategies for mitigating the threat from bird activity.

For more information, visit

We welcome your comments on In order to maintain a respectful environment, we ask that all comments be on-topic, respectful and spam-free. All comments made here are public and may be republished by Flying.

Mark Phelps is a senior editor at AVweb. He is an instrument rated private pilot and former owner of a Grumman American AA1B and a V-tail Bonanza.

Your email address will not be published.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

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Get the latest FLYING stories delivered directly to your inbox

Subscribe to our newsletter