The Mitsui & Co. Environment Fund

Introduction to Grant Projects

Professor Yuichi Mirai, Division of Energy and Environmental Systems, Graduate School of Engineering, Hokkaido University

Technological innovation research for wild bird protection in wind farms

Research grant

Project Description

While it is said that wind will be the cheapest source of power generation in ten years' time, measures to prevent bird strikes of wind turbines are lagging significantly. This project established the wold's first system to protect wild birds by achieving collision avoidance through bird detection and real-time turbine control. To achieve this, the project team aggregated interdisciplinary intelligence and applied 3D high-speed bird detection, hydrodynamic control, and ecological knowledge of birds. The project also conducted wind farm operation experiments to contribute to the popularization of next-generation large-scale wind power production.

Grant year
FY2012 Research Grants
Grant term
3 years
April 2013 - March 2016
Grant amount
10,000,000 yen
Activity region
Wind farms in Hokkaido, Fukui Prefecture, Tokyo, Ishikawa Prefecture, Fukushima Prefecture, and Hyogo Prefecture, Japan
Theoretical analysis of bird strikes

Overview of the Organization

Prof. Yuichi Mirai
Prof. Yuichi Mirai
Specialist field
Fluid mechanics, Visualization informatics
Affiliated academic societies
Japan Society of Mechanical Engineers,The Japan Society of Fluid Mechanics, The Institute of Physics
In March 1989, graduated from the National Institute of Technology, Ishikawa College
In March 1991, graduated from Kanazawa University College of Science and Engineering
In March 1993, completed a Masters course from the Department of Mechanical Engineering, The University of Tokyo
In April 1995, became an assistant at the University of Fukui's Graduate School of Engineering
In July 2000, took the position of Assistant Professor at the same faculty
In March 2001, became a visiting fellow at Imperial College London 2001
In April 2003 became an Associate Professor at the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Hokkaido University
In April 2005, moved to the Department of Energy and Environmental Systems
In April 2010, became a Professor at Hokkaido University's Graduate School of Engineering, Division of Energy and Environmental Systems
Collaborating researchers
Swiss Ornithological Institute (Vogelwarte), World Bird-strike Association
Research record
  • (1) Y. Murai, et al, "Applicability of airport bird observation technology to wind turbine bird strike issue", presentation paper 17th Symposium on Power and Energy Technology pp.223-224(2011)
  • (2) K.Takeshima et al. "Image sensing technique for flying bird detection and classification in natural background", Proc. IBSC (International Bird Strike Committee) ConferenceStavanger, Norway, pp.1-12 (2012)
  • (3) Y. Takeda, Y. Murai, "Bird strike prevention - some Japanese activity", Bulletin of Bird Strike North America Conference - Canada, S11-3, pp.16-16(2011)
  • (4) M. Mori, others: patent no. 5059666 "Flying object detection device, method and computer program for detecting flying objects" (registered 2012/8/10)
  • (5) T. Kanda, et al. "Development of 3-D Trajectory Measurement System for Birds Using Stereoscopic Photography" Transactions of the JMSE, B1, Vol.75, pp.561-563(2009)
  • (6) Y. Murai, et al. "3-D Measurement of Flying Objects in Atmosphere with PTV", presentation paper, The 37th Visualization Information Symposium, pp.371-372(2009)