Dr. Emanuela Ene
Mitchell Physics Building
College Station, Texas 77843-4242
At the IQSE, we are developing the TerraMobile platform for remote sensing atmospheric fauna and vegetation status. The TerraMobile is a custom designed trailer that will accommodate lasers, optical systems, and computers; it should function autonomously in the field for long periods of time. Monitoring insects and studying their movements at a few meters above the ground is of great importance for public health and agriculture. The food industry that relies on insect pollination is a $200-billion world-business; farming companies want to know if the pollinators are present or not in the field. Environmental pollution is usually associated with significant changes in insect populations, therefore we have another good reason for long period automatic insect monitoring. Last but not least, the rapid detection of Aedes mosquitoes that are responsible of spreading the Zika and other viruses is yet another target for our project. We aim at an insect detection range spanning from a few meters to kilometers with a spatial resolution of a few centimeters. Neither radar, nor traps can provide accurate data of the insect movements close to the ground. Instead, we built a CW-laser Scheimpflug optical setup for insect detection. Our insect detection system is a hybrid of several existing solutions. For a preliminary calibration, we employed honeybees from the RELLIS campus of the Texas A&M University. At a 20,000 images per second rate, the resulting amount of insect-data represents a challenge for storage and analysis. As of now, we are developing real-time insect-identification algorithms. We are training our machine-learning algorithms on data collected not only by us but also by other groups.
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