Kelvin Hughes

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DeTect selects Kelvin Hughes’ SharpEye™

DeTect Inc., a world leader in the development and deployment of bird radar systems, has improved bird detection and tracking especially in poor weather through a partnership with Kelvin Hughes to use SharpEye™ solid-state radar in their MERLIN systems. This new strategic partnership introduces Kelvin Hughes, already a world leader in the design and supply of marine navigation systems, to the bird-strike avoidance market for the first time.

The two companies have been working together since June 2008 to develop specific waveforms for their applications. As a result, all new MERLIN Aircraft Bird-strike Avoidance Radar systems will now include Kelvin Hughes’ SharpEye™ solid-state radar technology.

"This is a significant advance for our product, improving bird detection and tracking especially in poor weather such as rain and fog," says Gary Andrews, CEO, DeTect. "Birds do fly in bad weather, particularly when they are migrating. Traditional magnetron-based, X-Band systems are completely blinded by heavy fog and light rain and this is the most high risk period for aircraft bird-strikes as the pilots cannot see the birds and the birds cannot see the aircraft".

He adds: "We chose to work with Kelvin Hughes as they provided the highest level of available technology and had the expertise to support us during the developmental stage. The level of service we have received from them has been the highest of any vendor to date."

MERLIN is a proven avian radar technology product in operation with over 45 systems in operation worldwide in aviation safety and environmental applications. The US space agency NASA owns two systems that are used to prevent bird strikes during space shuttle launches.

Other enhancements to the MERLIN technology include decreased long-term operating costs through state-of-the-art solid-state radar sensors and ultra-high resolution user displays that provide an expanded level of detail for bird activity on and around the airport.

Adrian Pilbeam, Vice President, USA for Kelvin Hughes, says:
"Through the partnership both companies are utilising their respective technologies to deliver advanced remote sensing products in an operational environment. SharpEye™ solid-state radar opens a variety of new markets for Kelvin Hughes that will benefit from the increased detection ability and control functions".

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