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Title: Stereo-Optic High Definition Imaging: A New Technology to Understand Bird and Bat Avoidance of Wind Turbines

Abstract

There is a critical need to develop monitoring tools to track aerofauna (birds and bats) in three dimensions around wind turbines. New monitoring systems will reduce permitting uncertainty by increasing the understanding of how birds and bats are interacting with wind turbines, which will improve the accuracy of impact predictions. Biodiversity Research Institute (BRI), The University of Maine Orono School of Computing and Information Science (UMaine SCIS), HiDef Aerial Surveying Limited (HiDef), and SunEdison, Inc. (formerly First Wind) responded to this need by using stereo-optic cameras with near-infrared (nIR) technology to investigate new methods for documenting aerofauna behavior around wind turbines. The stereo-optic camera system used two synchronized high-definition video cameras with fisheye lenses and processing software that detected moving objects, which could be identified in post-processing. The stereo- optic imaging system offered the ability to extract 3-D position information from pairs of images captured from different viewpoints. Fisheye lenses allowed for a greater field of view, but required more complex image rectification to contend with fisheye distortion. The ability to obtain 3-D positions provided crucial data on the trajectory (speed and direction) of a target, which, when the technology is fully developed, will provide data on how animals aremore » responding to and interacting with wind turbines. This project was focused on testing the performance of the camera system, improving video review processing time, advancing the 3-D tracking technology, and moving the system from Technology Readiness Level 4 to 5. To achieve these objectives, we determined the size and distance at which aerofauna (particularly eagles) could be detected and identified, created efficient data management systems, improved the video post-processing viewer, and attempted refinement of 3-D modeling with respect to fisheye lenses. The 29-megapixel camera system successfully captured 16,173 five-minute video segments in the field. During nighttime field trials using nIR, we found that bat-sized objects could not be detected more than 60 m from the camera system. This led to a decision to focus research efforts exclusively on daytime monitoring and to redirect resources towards improving the video post- processing viewer. We redesigned the bird event post-processing viewer, which substantially decreased the review time necessary to detect and identify flying objects. During daytime field trials, we determine that eagles could be detected up to 500 m away using the fisheye wide-angle lenses, and eagle-sized targets could be identified to species within 350 m of the camera system. We used distance sampling survey methods to describe the probability of detecting and identifying eagles and other aerofauna as a function of distance from the system. The previously developed 3-D algorithm for object isolation and tracking was tested, but the image rectification (flattening) required to obtain accurate distance measurements with fish-eye lenses was determined to be insufficient for distant eagles. We used MATLAB and OpenCV to improve fisheye lens rectification towards the center of the image, but accurate measurements towards the image corners could not be achieved. We believe that changing the fisheye lens to rectilinear lens would greatly improve position estimation, but doing so would result in a decrease in viewing angle and depth of field. Finally, we generated simplified shape profiles of birds to look for similarities between unknown animals and known species. With further development, this method could provide a mechanism for filtering large numbers of shapes to reduce data storage and processing. These advancements further refined the camera system and brought this new technology closer to market. Once commercialized, the stereo-optic camera system technology could be used to: a) research how different species interact with wind turbines in order to refine collision risk models and inform mitigation solutions; and b) monitor aerofauna interactions with terrestrial and offshore wind farms replacing costly human observers and allowing for long-term monitoring in the offshore environment. The camera system will provide developers and regulators with data on the risk that wind turbines present to aerofauna, which will reduce uncertainty in the environmental permitting process.« less

Authors:
; ; ; ; ; ; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Biodiversity Research Institute
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Wind Energy Technologies Office (EE-4WE)
OSTI Identifier:
1423631
Report Number(s):
DOE-BRI-072117
DOE Contract Number:  
EE0006803
Resource Type:
Other
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English

Citation Formats

Adams, Evan, Goodale, Wing, Burns, Steve, Dorr, Chirs, Duron, Melissa, Gilbert, Andrew, Moratz, Reinhard, and Robinson, Mark. Stereo-Optic High Definition Imaging: A New Technology to Understand Bird and Bat Avoidance of Wind Turbines. United States: N. p., 2017. Web.
Adams, Evan, Goodale, Wing, Burns, Steve, Dorr, Chirs, Duron, Melissa, Gilbert, Andrew, Moratz, Reinhard, & Robinson, Mark. Stereo-Optic High Definition Imaging: A New Technology to Understand Bird and Bat Avoidance of Wind Turbines. United States.
Adams, Evan, Goodale, Wing, Burns, Steve, Dorr, Chirs, Duron, Melissa, Gilbert, Andrew, Moratz, Reinhard, and Robinson, Mark. Fri . "Stereo-Optic High Definition Imaging: A New Technology to Understand Bird and Bat Avoidance of Wind Turbines". United States. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1423631.
@article{osti_1423631,
title = {Stereo-Optic High Definition Imaging: A New Technology to Understand Bird and Bat Avoidance of Wind Turbines},
author = {Adams, Evan and Goodale, Wing and Burns, Steve and Dorr, Chirs and Duron, Melissa and Gilbert, Andrew and Moratz, Reinhard and Robinson, Mark},
abstractNote = {There is a critical need to develop monitoring tools to track aerofauna (birds and bats) in three dimensions around wind turbines. New monitoring systems will reduce permitting uncertainty by increasing the understanding of how birds and bats are interacting with wind turbines, which will improve the accuracy of impact predictions. Biodiversity Research Institute (BRI), The University of Maine Orono School of Computing and Information Science (UMaine SCIS), HiDef Aerial Surveying Limited (HiDef), and SunEdison, Inc. (formerly First Wind) responded to this need by using stereo-optic cameras with near-infrared (nIR) technology to investigate new methods for documenting aerofauna behavior around wind turbines. The stereo-optic camera system used two synchronized high-definition video cameras with fisheye lenses and processing software that detected moving objects, which could be identified in post-processing. The stereo- optic imaging system offered the ability to extract 3-D position information from pairs of images captured from different viewpoints. Fisheye lenses allowed for a greater field of view, but required more complex image rectification to contend with fisheye distortion. The ability to obtain 3-D positions provided crucial data on the trajectory (speed and direction) of a target, which, when the technology is fully developed, will provide data on how animals are responding to and interacting with wind turbines. This project was focused on testing the performance of the camera system, improving video review processing time, advancing the 3-D tracking technology, and moving the system from Technology Readiness Level 4 to 5. To achieve these objectives, we determined the size and distance at which aerofauna (particularly eagles) could be detected and identified, created efficient data management systems, improved the video post-processing viewer, and attempted refinement of 3-D modeling with respect to fisheye lenses. The 29-megapixel camera system successfully captured 16,173 five-minute video segments in the field. During nighttime field trials using nIR, we found that bat-sized objects could not be detected more than 60 m from the camera system. This led to a decision to focus research efforts exclusively on daytime monitoring and to redirect resources towards improving the video post- processing viewer. We redesigned the bird event post-processing viewer, which substantially decreased the review time necessary to detect and identify flying objects. During daytime field trials, we determine that eagles could be detected up to 500 m away using the fisheye wide-angle lenses, and eagle-sized targets could be identified to species within 350 m of the camera system. We used distance sampling survey methods to describe the probability of detecting and identifying eagles and other aerofauna as a function of distance from the system. The previously developed 3-D algorithm for object isolation and tracking was tested, but the image rectification (flattening) required to obtain accurate distance measurements with fish-eye lenses was determined to be insufficient for distant eagles. We used MATLAB and OpenCV to improve fisheye lens rectification towards the center of the image, but accurate measurements towards the image corners could not be achieved. We believe that changing the fisheye lens to rectilinear lens would greatly improve position estimation, but doing so would result in a decrease in viewing angle and depth of field. Finally, we generated simplified shape profiles of birds to look for similarities between unknown animals and known species. With further development, this method could provide a mechanism for filtering large numbers of shapes to reduce data storage and processing. These advancements further refined the camera system and brought this new technology closer to market. Once commercialized, the stereo-optic camera system technology could be used to: a) research how different species interact with wind turbines in order to refine collision risk models and inform mitigation solutions; and b) monitor aerofauna interactions with terrestrial and offshore wind farms replacing costly human observers and allowing for long-term monitoring in the offshore environment. The camera system will provide developers and regulators with data on the risk that wind turbines present to aerofauna, which will reduce uncertainty in the environmental permitting process.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2017},
month = {7}
}