Scanning wing-beat-modulation LIDAR for insect studies
The spatial distributions of flying insects are not well understood since most sampling methods - Malaise traps, sticky traps, vacuum traps, light traps - are not suited to documenting movements or changing distributions of various insects on short time scales. These methods also capture and kill the insects. To noninvasively monitor the spatial distributions of flying insects, we developed and implemented a scanning lidar system that measured wing-beat-modulation. Transmitting and receiving optics were mounted to a telescope that was attached to a scanning mount. As it scanned, the lidar collected and analyzed the light scattered from insect wings of various species. Mount position and pulse time-of-flight determined spatial location and spectral analysis of the backscattered light provided clues to insect identity. During one day of a four day field campaign at Grand Teton National Park in June of 2016, 76 'very likely' insects and 662 'somewhat likely' insects were detected, with a maximum range to the insect of 87:6m for 'very likely' insects.