Characterizing Mosquito Flight Using Measurement And Simulation
The mosquito Aedes aegypti is a dengue fever vector. Via its flight, it spreads potentially fatal disease to millions of people each year. In this dissertation I describe my work recording Aedes males using high speed imaging, quantifying and analyzing their motion, and simulating their flight. I describe image processing techniques that have allowed us to characterize their body position and orientation as well as their wing motion. We find that mosquitoes fly with a sideways component to their flight more often than other recorded Dipterans, and rely on sideslipping turns to change their flight direction. We show quantitatively that they use their stroke plane roll angle to generate sideways accelerations. We also show that, unlike many Dipterans, they do not use their pitch angle to control forward acceleration. Their body roll angle is thus central to the control of their motion. Using computer simulation to probe the stability characteristics of their flight we find that, like other Dipterans, the motion of these mosquitoes lies near the boundary between asymptotic stability and instability. However, the linearized map describing the motion of the body from one wingbeat to the next is not self-adjoint, resulting in potentially large growth of perturbations on the shorter timescales relevant to mosquito motion. These perturbations are rotated as they grow, potentially leading to a reduction in the dimension of the controller.
mosquito flight; lateral motion; dynamic flight stability; wingbeat kinematics
Guckenheimer, John Mark
Strogatz, Steven H; Hoy, Ronald Raymond; Cohen, Itai
Ph. D., Applied Mathematics
Doctor of Philosophy
dissertation or thesis