In this talk from Techonomy 2011 in Tuscon Ariz., Fred Krupp, President of the Environmental Defense Fund, discusses three examples of how technology can solve tough environmental challenges—such as a wind farm using radar as air traffic control for birds.
Krupp: In Texas there’s a wind farm that is using radar as the air traffic control for birds. When the birds approach, they tell the blades to stop moving. When the birds are safely on their way, the turbines are restarted.
In the Gulf of Mexico, NRDC and Oceana deployed a submersible robot, Waldo, to use ultraviolet light to measure oil left over from the BP spill. It uploaded the data to researchers every three seconds to give them a good look.
Down in the Brazilian Amazon, we now have pretty precise data about tropical deforestation thanks to a technology called lidar. It’s a narrow laser beam pulsing at 100,000 times a second and it’s used to draw a darned good 3D image of what’s going on, kind of like an MRI of a forest.