Monitoring campaign in Tanzania

The LIDAR insect sensor technology has been developed to monitor mosquito populations using remote optical systems. Specifically developed at Lund University Laser Center. The sensor has now been tested in a study in Tanzania. The study measured vector species abundance in the vicinity of a village before, during and after the total solar eclipse. A 1km static entomological LIDAR transect to monitor habitats known to harbor breeding and feeding grounds for Anopheles mosquitoes a key vector of malaria.

New tools are needed to monitor mosquitoes to keep the diseases under control especially the breeding and feeding grounds. During five days our insect sensor device counted over 700.000 insects in five days and a peak activity of over 1000 insects per minute. The insect sensor grouped species by wing beat frequency and size.

Daniel A. Gross from the Mosaic wrote ” Almost every species of flying insect, from moth to midge to mosquito, has a unique wingbeat frequency. A female Culex stigmatosoma mosquito, for instance, might beat its wings at a frequency of 350 hertz, while a male Culex tarsalis might at 550 hertz. Because of these differences, an insect’s wingbeat is like a fingerprint. And in recent years, the study of wingbeat has undergone a renaissance, especially in the field of human health.” The idea of having different wingbeat frequencies has been known but the use of LIDAR is a new innovation. Monitoring vector species is an important in understanding the species. This can help in decreasing the infection rate of these diseases.

To read the full article click here and to hear the interview click here

UPDATE: the first scientific article from this project was published in Science Advances on the 13th of May 2020, find it here.

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