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Acousto-fluidic Sensors For Optimizing
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Insect pests are annually responsible for multi-million dollar grain losses. A promising detectionsystem is the ARS-developed Acoustic Location Fingerprinting Insect Detector (ALFID) which countsinsects in a grain sample by pinpointing sounds from individual adult and larval (potentially the mostdestructive in wheat) stages. The low-cost piezo-electric microphones currently used are sufficientlysensitive only in a very narrow frequency band, generate false signals, and vary widely, making itdifficult to cross-correlate the signals. With handpicked sensors ALFID performance has beenencouraging, but until better microphones are available, acceptance is doubtful. DRT, working withARS under a CRADA, has begun to develop a more sensitive, acousto-fluidic sensor, with widerbandpass (1-7kHz), excellent repeatability that is reasonably priced, and would be well-suited forALFID, as well as other in situ insect detection applications such as in grain silos and packaged goods.Rice weevil larval sounds in wheat have been detected with significantly better SNR, so that larva inearlier stages of development can now be detected, even before significant grain damage has occurred.DRT proposes to conduct research to develop arrays of identical acousto-fluidic sensors configured forALFID, and in conjunction with ARS will demonstrate practical ALFID performance.
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