Avian & Bat Radar Systems

The MERLIN™ Avian Radar System is the very capable, proven and widely used bird radar system available for conducting bird and bat surveys, research, mortality risk analysis, habitat and migratory studies, and for long-term and operational monitoring and mitigation of risks. MERLIN technology capabilities include:

  • Risk assessment
  • Siting of new projects & expansions of existing sites
  • Migratory bird & bat studies & research
  • Habitat assessment & usage analysis
  • Monitoring & control of operating sites
  • Mortality risk assessment & mitigation planning
  • Bird and bat mortality mitigation

Applications include a wide range of projects with avian mortality risk, bird control and risk management issues:

  • Wind Energy Farms (terrestrial & offshore)
  • Airports (military & commercial)
  • Landfills
  • Chemical, Oil & Gas Facilities
  • Power Plants
  • Mines & Quarries
  • Contaminated & Hazardous Waste Sites
  • Evaporation ponds
  • Solar collector systems

MERLIN Bird & Bat Radar Technologies

The MERLIN system provides the more proven, cost-effective, scientifically-sound, and conclusive method for collection of high-quality, statistically superior data on bird and bat movements at project sites, including wind farms, solar farms, airports, landfills and mines. The MERLIN system uses technology originally developed by DeTect for the US Air Force and NASA for military aviation and space shuttle flight safety applications. MERLIN is the very advanced and proven avian radar technology available with over 180 systems currently operating worldwide. MERLIN technology is supported by DeTect’s professional staff of experienced avian biologists and radar ornithologists that provides clients with the more experienced team of experts in remote sensing of birds and bats in the world – with specific expertise in design, construction and operation of bird/wildlife detection systems for aviation safety and environmental management.

MERLIN uses state-of-the-art radar and computer techniques developed specifically for detecting and tracking the unique behavioral characteristics of birds and bats to collect data continuously and automatically under a variety of conditions generating highly accurate, detailed datasets for analysis and for use in project decision-making, planning, permitting and risk management. MERLIN is highly automated with a proven record of high operability and low maintenance in adverse environments. The system can operate 24-7 unattended and is fully remote accessible and controllable through local networks and the Internet with a range of connectivity options that include WLAN, WWAN, and satellite. MERLIN systems are delivered with a full range of standard data analysis routines as well as an optional SQL server datasystem. All data are also archived to disk an advance SQL datasystem providing a permanent record for each project and for further post-processing and modeling with Geographical Information Systems (GIS), Google Earth and other analytical programs.

Systems are fully self-contained with on-board control cabins, remote auto-start primary or back-up power systems, and include all hardware and software for bird and bat tracking, clutter suppression, interference rejection and data recording. Custom configurations, including fixed and offshore installations, can also be provided that integrate additional sensors such as thermal cameras, bat detectors, insect detectors, vertical profilers and acoustic monitors. DeTect provides complete system installation and user training support. Each system includes a full parts and labor warranty and MERLIN software upgrades. Systems are available for short-term rental, long-term lease or for sale, both with and without DeTect operators.

Wind Energy Project Avian Radar Survey & Monitoring

Radar surveys for wind energy projects offer significant benefits over conventional visual avian survey techniques. The MERLIN system is the more powerful and proven tool available for assessment, monitoring and real-time risk mitigation at wind energy projects – in both terrestrial and offshore environments throughout the US and Europe. MERLIN’s dual vertical and horizontal scanning radars provide exceptionally accurate data on bird & bat passage rates and altitudes across proposed or existing wind farm sites and provides detailed bird and bat target databases for the rotor swept altitudes that can be used to provide quantitative determination of mortality risk to birds and bats at the wind farm. The system also develops detailed data on bird and bat movements for the area surrounding the wind farm out to 2-4 nm and up to 10,000 feet in altitude. MERLIN ’s Data Analyzer program includes standard and custom database queries providing both tabular and graphical outputs quantifying the numbers of birds and bats passing through the rotor swept area allowing precise calculation and determination of bird and bat mortality risk.

For operating windfarms, the MERLIN SCADA functionality allows the system to operate as a real-time “early warning”, monitoring and risk mitigation system providing advance warning to the windfarm operators of approaching birds. MERLIN SCADA can also be configured to automatically activate mitigation responses at operating windfarms that can include idling of select or all turbines until risk conditions abate. The MERLIN operating software is fully compatible with most wind farm SCADA control systems and DeTect provides full implementation support. For more details on the MERLIN Avian Radar System for wind power projects,

Expert Application Support

With MERLIN, users are getting more than an avian radar system – DeTect provides comprehensive application support with each system that includes avian survey/ application design, system set-up, data collection support and project-specific user training. Each system is also supported by DeTect’s team of avian biologists who have extensive backgrounds and experience in radar ornithology, avian biology, study design, bird control and risk mitigation on projects worldwide. For bird and bat survey applications, DeTect provides full data analysis support that includes custom algorithm development, data processing, reporting and risk analysis supporting client biologists and/or clients consultants.

MERLIN bird and bat radar systems are for purchase, long-term lease or short-term rental, with or without DeTect operators and are backed by a comprehensive parts and labor warranty.