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The use of vertical-looking radar to continuously monitor the insect fauna flying at altitude over southern England

  • A.D. Smith (a1), D.R. Reynolds (a1) and J.R. Riley (a1)


The continuous automatic monitoring of the aerial density, biomass and relative diversity of high-flying insect faunas has been made practicable by a new, vertical-looking radar. This inexpensive radar system, with its novel signal analysis capability, represents a major advance over earlier vertical-beam radars because it provides estimates of the body mass of individual overflying insects, as well as measurements of their direction and speed of movement. This paper summarizes data collected over a three-month period by the new radar in the height range from 150 m to c.1 km, over agricultural land in Worcestershire, England. The day-to-day variation in the numbers of insects and their altitudinal and diurnal patterns of flight activity are presented. Examples are also given of distributions of mass, displacement speed and direction, and orientation direction. The potential of the new radar for various research and operational monitoring tasks is briefly discussed.


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The use of vertical-looking radar to continuously monitor the insect fauna flying at altitude over southern England

  • A.D. Smith (a1), D.R. Reynolds (a1) and J.R. Riley (a1)


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