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Accession Number 5004463

Title The Use of Forward Looking Infrared (FLIR) and Harmonic Radar to Locate Bird

Carcasses in Agricultural Areas

Project Description The use of forward looking infrared (FLIR) and harmonic radar to locate bird carcasses in

agricultural areas. Active. 990401 - 011231. The United States Environmental Protection Agency

(USEPA) conducts risk-benefit analysis under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide

Act (FIFRA), to regulate pesticide use in the United States. Information on wildlife mortality

following operational or experimental application of pesticides is a critical variable in demonstrating

risk of a pesticide. Current methods involve visual ground searches and scent searches with

dogs. These methods are time consuming and cover limited areas. Therefore, the goal of this

project is to develop a method that utilizes helicopter-mounted Forward Looking Infrared Imagery

and harmonic radar to locate bird carcasses in agricultural fields. The Forward Looking Infrared

Imagery system locates objects through thermal infrared detection. Therefore, thermal heat

measurements of carcasses are being determined for five consecutive nights. This will define the

suitable time for FLIR application. A computer program is used to analyze the images produced

by the FLIR. Differential Global Positioning Systems Technology is being used to retrieve

carcasses in the field after a positive identification with the program. If this research results in a

practical method of identifying and retrieving bird carcasses in the field, the USEPA can use it

more efficiently to analyze carcasses for pesticide residues. The harmonic radar system uses

harmonic frequencies to detect either a passive or an active tag. The use of this technology will

benefit carcass searching on a spatial and temporal scale. The project is in cooperation with EPA

and University of Maryland.

Keywords birds, carcass detection, contaminants, harmonic radar, infra-red imaging, methods development,


Principal Nimish B Vyas, USGS, BRD, Patuxent Wildlife Research Center:; Juliet

Investigators Healy, University of Maryland:; Lowell Adams, University of Maryland:;

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