Airfield Bird Dispersal System Under Evaluation

Worldwide interest has been created by the airfield bird dispersal system ‘Sappho’ being developed by The Trix Electrical Co Ltd in collaboration with the Ministry of Aviation. The system utilises specially recorded bird alarm and distress calls.

So, 54 years ago, starts a story in Electronics Weekly’s edition of September 14th 1960.

The story continues:

Recordings of about twelve different birds have so far been made with the assistance of a Ministry ornithologist and many other organisations.

In the Sappho system, six to nine 8-ft sound column radiators are used to cover two-mile strips. The total power output is 200 watts.

A very high standard of recording and reproduction is essential to make the system effective.

If the system is proved effective, it will add greatly to air safety. At the present time, there is some possibility of engine failure due to birds being drawn into the air intake of jet aircraft, or damage to airframes due to direct impact.

In an interview with Electronics Weekly, Mr Gordon R.E. Brown, sales manager of the company, said: “Most interest has, of course, come from airports and airline operating companies. But we have also received inquiries from Africa about the possibility of using the system for dispersing birds from rice fields.”

“Similarly,” added Mr Brown, “the Germans have hopes that the system might be used to clear birds away from vineyards. Its use on fruit farms is also creating considerable interest. But before we can market the equipment, we must await the results of the evaluation tests being carried out by the Ministry of Aviation. The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries are being consulted regarding the wider fields of applicatioin.”

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