AscendXYZ has won a Horizon2020 grant for further development of a revolutionary solution

There is something exciting that AscendXYZ has been keeping under the radar (pun intended) for quite some time. AscendXYZ has recently been awarded 1.2 million European Union’s grant under the 2020 research and innovation programme.

Horizon 2020 is the biggest European Union Research and Innovation programme ever with almost €80 billions of funding available over 7 years (2014 to 2020) in addition to the private investments this funding instrument attracts. The programme aims to support a successful rollout of highly innovative breakthrough ideas and solutions, support discoveries and aid world-firsts from prototype or lab phase to the market. Horizon 2020 is the financial instrument implementing the Innovation Union, a Europe 2020 flagship initiative aimed at securing Europe's global competitiveness. The goal is to ensure thatEurope produces world-class innovation and helps to fight barriers delivering that innovation to the market.  

Horizon 2020 SME Instrument is looking for innovation that targets new markets, is aiming to bring novel approaches, offer ground-breaking solutions, and have exceptionally high potential. We are proud to have our idea recognised as high-potential disruptive innovation, that together with the help of funding, will be matured and brought to global market. AscendXYZ is grateful and proud to be chosen among top 5% of applicants from all over Europe and is strongly motivated to successfully bring the matured solution to the aviation industry 

Since this Horizon2020 grant is soft funding (meaning no strings attached besides doing our best to successfully implement the project), receiving this grant gives us certain freedom to bring a very specific solution to life that solves important challenges for the aviation safety while keeping the focus on development and successful commercialisation.  

But what is it that AscendXYZ is presenting to the aviation world that got the attention and backing of the EU? Well, without further ado we present you the Ascend Avian Radar Network or AARN. A solution that does not exist in the market but has been something that our customers have been looking for. We wish to accelerate the delivery of a long-sought solutionWe are disrupting bird strike prevention with the world’s first airline-centric solution.AARN connects multiple Ascend (and 3rd parties’) radars in multiple airports to deliver airlines and their pilots real-time bird activity data, forecasts, and warnings of high-risk periods in all airports that airline chooses to include in its subscription. The AARN is unique, since it offers airlines access to the real-time and historical radar data and predictions. It means that the AARN enables airlines to take a proactive approach in order to minimise the risk of a bird strike by mitigating it from an operational and planning perspectives.We think that the goal of the AARN is clear -improve airline profitability while increasing flight safety.  

With the EU grant we are able to speed up the process of the AARN maturation and invest significant time and resources into making a unique solution available to the airlinesYou can see airline avian radar solution in action in Aalborg airport hereThe overall long-term goal of AARN is to, of course, decrease the risk of bird strikes not only within the EU, but also globally.  

We are here to enable safe and uninterrupted aircraft operations worldwide. Follow our journey! 

If you are interested to hear more, contact us at [email protected]  




This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 880308.

Aalborg Airport

Bird Strikes down by 50% in Aalborg Airport

Written by Thomas Hugo Møller (Quality and Compliance manager at Aalborg airport).

By using data to understand wildlife behaviour and implementing new active measures, Aalborg Airport (Denmark) has reduced bird strikes by one half in one year.

Aalborg Airport is a growing civil and military airport in the northern part of Denmark. Situated close to the water, with large meadows and huge areas with flooded pastures in the immediate surroundings, managing wildlife is a challenge. Add a rapidly growing Barnacle goose population, and you have a problem. So, what were we to do?

We started by implementing a strict digital recording of all wildlife movements in the area. This lead to a better understanding of the bird behaviour. Due to the digital recording, we were able to map where and when our high-risk species were present and to track their local migration patterns.

Avoid bird strikes - Image from Ascend XYZ digital recording solution, showing wildlife recordings based on wildlife risk level in a 4-hour period on the 21st of February.
Image from Ascend XYZ digital recording solution, showing wildlife recordings based on wildlife risk level in a 4-hour period on the 21st of February.

With this information in hand, we started to focus on our active measures — extra “boots on the ground” in high-risk periods, new tools (e.g., remote controlled gas canons, structured hunts) to target and change local migration patterns. This, combined with education of the bird control units and strong management support, has yielded results. We went from 37 bird strikes (2016) to only 18 strikes (2017), and that with movements increased by 8 %.

What’s next for us?

In 2017 Aalborg airport was a part of the Airshare XYZ project. The Airshare XYZ project currently is supported by 13 European Airlines and more than 90 airports globally. The project is focused on sharing the knowledge, understanding how other airports and airlines are mitigating risks, what works and what doesn’t, and how we get the best effect of the measures we take. We hope to see our colleagues around the world participating and sharing their knowledge in this field.

Aalborg Airport is the first airport in Denmark to install an Avian Radar. Avian Radar allows us to give our bird control units real-time information on bird activity in the airport operations area, enabling them to take immediate actions. By combining our digital recording data with radar data, we expect to gain important insights on the effect of our area management plan. Last but not least, we will be able to map bird activity in our surroundings. It is exciting times — possibilities, understanding, and technology are changing the way we perform wildlife control and reduction. I hope this post inspired you to share insights from your Airport or Airline with the rest of us.

For more information contact Thomas Hugo Møller (Aalborg airport) on LinkedIn.