December 5, 2017: Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport on cutting edge of technology with bird-drone detection

BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) – Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport (ECP) is fully equipped with dual bird-drone detection radar thanks to DeTect, a Panama City-based technology firm.

Earlier this year, they installed the DroneWatcher, which does just that. This month, they installed the aircraft bird avoidance radar, which helps track both birds and drones.

“We’re the only airport in the country that has both the DroneWatcher as well as the Merlin Radar integrated into one system,” Airport Executive Director Parker McClellan said.

“The radar is a type of sensor that has been used for many years,” DeTect Operation Manager Craig Rainey explained. “The software that we use is what makes it special and allows to look for smaller targets such as birds or drones. It basically gives us a three-tier system and protection for the airport.”

While ECP is the first airport in the country to use radar along with drone and bird watching software, the military has had access to this technology for several years. It promises to protect pilots and passengers through aerial scans and sending real-time alerts, if necessary.

“The radar provides real-time displays as far as the activity around the airport,” Rainey said. “It gives you both horizontal and vertical. It gives you the distance away from the runways as far as the altitudes of any birds that are over the runway.”

If there’s any sort of risk, Rainey said the radar will provide a risk assessment ranging from low to high and it will determine if pilots should be notified to delay for takeoff or landing.

“We’re very excited to be part of the effort and the cooperative partnership we have with DeTect allows them to grow and allows us to benefit from the enhanced security and safety,” McClellan said.

Source – WJHG

January 11, 2017: DeTect to install Drone & Bird Detection System at Northwest Florida Beaches Airport

DeTect will be installing a dual-function DroneWatcher drone detection and defense system and MERLIN Aircraft Birdstrike A voidance Radar at the Panama City Florida airport (ECP) (see news story).

September 30, 2016: US Air Force Awards DeTect AHAS-BAM contract

The USAF today awarded DeTect a five year, $4.5 million contract to operate, develop and manage the Air Force’s US national birdstrike risk advisory and alerting system – Avian Hazard Advisory System (AHAS) and the USAF Bird Avoidance Model (BAM). The contract also includes maintenance and acquisition of Bird Detection Radar (BDR) systems.

September 9, 2016: News Release: ‘Sully’ Miracle on the Hudson Bird Strike

With the release today of the movie ‘Sully’ recounting the 2009 ‘Miracle on the Hudson’ bird-aircraft strike that caused the crash of US Airways flight 1549, bird related risk to commercial aircraft is back in the news. Eight years later no US airport uses avian radar in the air traffic control tower to issue birdstrike warning though airports in Europe, Asia and Africa have installed and use the technology. DeTect’s MERLIN system remains the only birdstrike radar being used operationally by air traffic control to issue real-time birdstrike risk advisories with systems operating at commercial airports and military airfields worldwide (read full news release).

August 30, 2016: DeTect Announces Partnership with SGS Canada for Product Sales and Support

DeTect today announced that it has entered into a sales and support agreement with SGS Canada for its MERLIN, HARRIER and DroneWatcher products. SGS is a global services and technology leader with 42 offices in Canada. SGS has been supporting DeTect’s MERLIN Bird Control Radar Systems in the Canadian Oil Sands for the past 5 years and the partnership will provide DeTect’s customers with an expanded level of service and support.

August 26, 2016: Brussels Airport Installs MERLIN Aircraft Birdstrike Avoidance Radar System

The Brussels Airport (BRU) today started a two week test of DeTect’s MERLIN system to monitor and map the behavior of birds 24 hours a day and to evaluate use of the technology for an operational installation for bird-aircraft strike alerting. The will provide preliminary insight into the behavior of birds on the airport. The airport operator is taking several preventive minimize birdstrike risk that includes the MERLIN study. (full article on-line)

August 16, 2016: USFWS Study Uses MERLIN Avian Radar Systems to Develop Wind Farm Risk Data for Great Lakes Region

The US Fish and Wildlife Service has released a report on its multi-year survey of the Great Lakes region using two MERLIN Avian Radar Systems. The radar study found that migrating birds concentrate along the shorelines to refuel and rest before crossing the lakes and provides recommended setbacks that apply to both the US and Canadian sides of the lakes under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. The study also notes that technologies such as DeTect’s MERLIN SCADA-M can be used to mitigate mortality risk. (read full article)

July 18, 2016: NBC TV Affiliate WJHG News Story on DroneWatcher APP

The local Panama City NBC affiliate WJHG discusses DeTect’s DroneWatcher APP and how it could be used to reduce drone collision risk to helicopters and other low flying aircraft (on-line video).

July 15, 2016: DeTect releases power management upgrade to the DroneWatcher APP

Version 2.5 improves power consumption for the DroneWatcher AP that turns a smartphone or tablet into a local or wide-area, crowdsourced detector for over 95% of consumer drones and small UAVs. The app is available for Android devices and tablets free on Google Play at