18 February 2019
How does a Bird Detection System work?
The presence of gulls and other seabirds on offshore installations can have a negative impact on the facility. In some cases, the birds may become an issue as soon as the crew leaves the facility. In other cases, these issues are permanent regardless of the crew members’ presence or even if extreme measures are being enforced.
The correlation between the amount of food and birds is strongly positive. If the sea is full of crustaceans, mussels, crabs, and fish – the sky will be full of birds as well. An obvious place to enjoy the feast is at a platform in the middle of the great ocean. Within a few months, an offshore facility can be covered in guano, especially if a migrating, underwater pantry is passing by.
Understanding how to battle birds
Although challenging, an essential part of keeping birds away is to understand their movement and the flow of their targeted food.
That’s why the Bird Deterrent System (BDS) by Semco Maritime is being developed in collaboration with the expertise of ornithologists. Constant research allows the team to develop better solutions to combat pest birds offshore.
One thing is clear: Doing nothing is the worst way to get rid of birds. Be aware that the presence of one seagull, circling around your offshore installation, can bring about many issues at an accelerating speed.
The power of sudden sounds
Like all wild animals, seabirds are controlled by their instincts while constantly being alert to their surroundings. As soon as the environment changes and thereby poses a hazard to them, they react. Mostly by taking off, but also by relocating to a safer spot.
You, therefore, need an electronic system that can run all year round to continuously scare the birds. Using sound to deter seabirds is an efficient way to prevent them from settling down on your offshore installation. The Bird Deterrent System works like this:
- Sensors and cameras detect the presence of birds frequenting the affected areas
- Once the detection is triggered, the loudspeakers and amplifiers will immediately play loud and special soundtracks selected and tested by our ornithologist partner
- The system plays a library of 10-15 various sounds such as gunshots and dogs barking
- The BDS rotates between the disrupting noises, keeping the birds constantly surprised and alert by the ever-changing sounds
- Over time, it is possible to change the sound library if the birds seem to get used to the noises
The Bird Deterrent System is designed for area coverage, not cubicle applications, and can cover all targeted areas, including helidecks and the laydown area.
The audio system is typically included with the BDS, entailing amplifiers and speakers. However, for new builds (Green Field), it is feasible and may be beneficial from an installation point of view to interface the BDS with the PAGA system.