A Simulation Model of the Detection Patterns of Birds Using Marine Radars

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  • Many bird radar studies provide estimates of the number of birds flying past a given area, but very few of these actually estimate detectability. One of the challenges in radar ornithology is estimating the probability of detection of flying targets with altitude and distance. I estimated the detection patterns associated with three marine radars by using a combination of field trials and simulation modelling, and estimated the probabilities of correctly and incorrectly detecting birds in relation to altitude. The results indicate considerable variation in power among radar units. The nominal beam width was 4 degrees and effective beam width was 7 degrees. The results from the simulation indicate detectability varies with altitude, with few birds detected in the lower altitude bands. Many simulated birds were classified as two different birds when crossing the beam twice and there were many false detections, especially in the lowest altitude bands near the radar.

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  • Copyright © 2017 the author(s). Theses may be used for non-commercial research, educational, or related academic purposes only. Such uses include personal study, research, scholarship, and teaching. Theses may only be shared by linking to Carleton University Institutional Repository and no part may be used without proper attribution to the author. No part may be used for commercial purposes directly or indirectly via a for-profit platform; no adaptation or derivative works are permitted without consent from the copyright owner.
Date Created
  • 2017


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