Bat avionics and movement ecology
University of Bristol, UK
The term avionics is derived from the expression ‘aviation electronics’. This field of engineering develops and provides systems for a wide variety of control, performance, communication and navigation tasks. Most importantly, it provides the integration in and optimization of all these tasks under the special constraints set by flight. So under the newly introduced term ‘bat avionics’ we can place all sensory and communication aspects that are influenced by and adapted to the special requirements of powered bat flight. For the context of this talk, bat avionics will concern how active sensing is interlinked with movement ecology. We will explore the spatio-temporal sensory and movement ecology from a theoretical framework and from descriptive and comparative field observations leading to bio-inspired modelling of the sensory ecology of bat movements. This will include exploring several aspects of movement ecology including discrete spatial perception and ranging, collision avoidance and habitat use, and navigation using movement-generated Doppler shifts.