'Reminds me: Early one morning 'bout 30 years ago, I was at my van in the driveway of a rental house I had then preparing to do some painting there. I heard a gaggle of geese honking behind some trees a half block or so away, and I looked up to see them climbing out from a small lake behind the trees and coming straight toward me. As they continued pumping their wings hard in the climb, I could hear the steady, nearly imperceptible hiss of their slipstream interspersed with the rhythmic swoosh of their wings in perfect unison - a beautiful sound and a beautiful sight on a quiet, still morning. Also interesting to note their "gear"-up and perfectly tucked in to complete beautifully streamlined undersides.

Wilton

----- Original Message ----- From: "Rich Thomas via Mercedes" <mercedes@okiebenz.com>
To: <mercedes@okiebenz.com>
Cc: "Rich Thomas" <richthomas79td...@constructivity.net>
Sent: Tuesday, June 23, 2015 10:52 AM
Subject: Re: [MBZ] OT Owls and the quest for quieter wind energy/ 3D printing


I saw that yesterday, quite interesting. We looked into some bird stuff when I was in kawledge, always fascinating to see nature's (intelligent) designs.

I was on the farm once some years ago, went out for a stroll late one night and there was a big owl sitting on top of the barn. I stopped and stood there and watched it a few minutes while it watched me. I decided to head back in and as I was walking back it flew right over my shoulder, wings almost touched my head, and I could not hear it a bit. (WHOA that was a surprise!) It was pretty cool, I probably had stirred up a mouse or something, it flew right down to the ground in front of me but did not grab anything.

There is a place here called the Center for Birds of Prey that rescues injured birds and rehabilitates them. Some can't go back to the wild so they keep them and go our and do demonstrations here and there. I have been to a few and one time they had a big owl, when it flew you couldn't hear it either but the hawks and eagles made a fair amount of whooshing noises.

--R



On 6/23/15 10:31 AM, Andrew Strasfogel via Mercedes wrote:
I found this very cool.

Want quieter wind farms? Owls may have the answer

Monday, 22 Jun 2015 | 9:06 AM ETCNBC.com

 From computer fans to wind turbines, fan blades are commonplace, but
there's no denying they can be noisy. Now, a team of researchers at the
University of Cambridge have said help may be on hand -- from a feathered
friend.

By studying the wing structure of owls, the researchers have designed a
material that shows "substantial" signs of noise reduction, and could make
fan blades much quieter in years to come.

[image: CAN55_Location_FOA_11]
Ian Evenden/PhotoPlus Magazine | Future | Getty Images

Early tests of the prototype coating -- made of 3D-printed plastic --
revealed that noise from wind turbine blades was reduced by 10 decibels,
without any signs of an impact on aerodynamics.

This is not a major noise reduction, but the researchers stressed that if
it was used in wind farms, turbines could run at higher speeds without
creating any extra noise, therefore producing more energy.

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Owls are known for their stealthy predatory skills, and scientists have
attributed this to their silent flying skills. It was because of this that
the University of Cambridge, along with three U.S. institutions, used
high-resolution microscopy to examine the structure of owl wings and their
feathers to see if it could be replicated.

"Much of the noise caused by a wing – whether it's attached to a bird, a
plane or a fan – originates at the trailing edge where the air passing over
the wing surface is turbulent," lead researcher, Professor Nigel Peake,
said in a statement.

"The structure of an owl's wing serves to reduce noise by smoothing the
passage of air as it passes over the wing – scattering the sound so their
prey can't hear them coming."

Read MoreRenewable power will overtake coal if pledges kept
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The scientists designed their own coating, which "scatters" sound like owls
do. The next stage is to apply the coating on a large-scale functioning
turbine and potentially even aeroplanes – although the researchers conceded
this would be "far more complicated."

Virginia Tech, Lehigh and Florida Atlantic Universities worked with the
University of Cambridge on the research, which was funded by the U.S.
Office of Naval Research and U.S. National Science Foundation.

Read MoreCheck out this bar, it's a hoot! <http://www.cnbc.com/id/102451128>
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