Ascend XYZ has developed a service that allows airports to use satellite data to identify and manage nearby wildlife habitats, which can pose a risk to safety at takeoff and landing.

The new service makes use of free images and information from Earth observation satellites and software.

Ascend's software has been successfully tested in several Danish airports, which found it easier to use than existing standalone systems.

"This is especially valuable to smaller airports with fewer resources to meet the same safety standards as large airports."

Due to increased focus on risk sites, the airports have been able to boost their efficiency, reduce costs, and meet legal requirements for monitoring within a 13km radius.

Ascend CEO Peter Hemmingsen said: "Using Earth observation data is more efficient than on-ground monitoring, requiring fewer man-hours and lowering demands on resources which cuts costs while increasing flight safety. 

“This is especially valuable to smaller airports with fewer resources to meet the same safety standards as large airports.

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“Free data from the latest Copernicus Sentinel satellites make this an affordable solution for airports.”

Two airports have signed up for the service and several international airports in Germany, England and North America also intend to use the technology.

The software can identify risk sites, such as lakes, golf courses, and areas that attract wildlife.

It can monitor changes when the satellite pictures are updated, and document any actions taken.

The software's cloud and browser-based management system allows information to be shared online between airport operators, ground staff, civil aviation authorities, and wildlife management teams.