History

This page contains notes on the history of radar entomology, in three parts. The first is a list of ‘observation campaigns’, reflecting the early practice of taking radar units to field sites, often far from the researchers’ base laboratories, and operating them intensively for periods of a few weeks. These campaigns were timed to coincide with the peak period of flight activity of the target species. They usually included ancillary activities, especially insect trapping, meteorological observations, and visual observations (sometimes with night-vision equipment). For conventional entomological radars, this ‘campaign’ type of observation ceased from around 2000 as automatically operating radars that ran continuously (or in some cases every night but not during the day) came into operation. For harmonic units, the campaign approach has continued. This section is no longer updated; it is complete to around 2015.

The second part of the page lists organisations that are, or have been, active in the field since its inception (in 1968), and provides a very brief account of their contributions. The third part is a brief acknowledgment of the critical role of some early supporters of the idea that radar could be applied to entomology. These sections aim to be up-to-date. Corrections or suggestions for additions to Alistair Drake.

Drake & Reynolds (2012, pp. 9-12) provide a more conventionally written account of the origins and development of radar entomology up to 2011.

Observation campaigns 1949-2015

A chronology of “significant” campaigns, with references to publications arising from them.

Campaigns have been included if they lasted more than ~7 days and if they had biological (rather than just technical) objectives. Observations by radar meteorologists that have focussed specifically on insect targets as a source of “clear air echo”, and some of the most interesting of the “dot angel” studies, have been included. Harmonic direction finder studies of non-flying insects are included only up to 2002. Observation ‘campaigns’ have become less frequent since about 2010 as most observations are now conducted over longer periods. Generally, campaigns and longer series are included only if they have led to publications.

For the early years (to 1971), links are provided to the bibliography entry for the paper. (Note you may need to scroll up a few lines to reveal it.)

cer3p1949. January: Gila Bend, Arizona, USA, Naval Electronics Laboratory and Bell Telephone Laboratory – first confirmed detection of insects by radar. (Crawford 1949).

cer3p1951. July: Chesapeake Bay, ?Virginia, USA, Naval Research Laboratory – visual confirmation of insects as radar targets. (Bonham Blake 1956).

cer3p1954. March: Persian Gulf, Royal Navy (UK) – radar detection of Desert Locust swarm. (Rainey 1955).

cer3p1959. July (also summer 1960 and 1963): ?Massachusetts, USA, Massachusetts Institute of Technology – insects (probable) in sea breeze. (Geotis 1964).

cer3p1962. July: Delhi, India, National Physical Laboratory (India) – radar study of Desert Locust swarms. (Ramana Murty et al. 1964; Mazumdar, Bhaskara Rao & Gupta 1965).

cer3p1963. All year: Near Stockholm, Sweden, FOA (Research Institute of National Defence) – study of angel echoes, many attributed to insects. (Ottersten 1970).

cer3p1964. April-December: Wallops Island, Virginia, USA, MIT Lincoln Laboratory/Air Force Cambridge Research laboratories – insects in layers. (Hardy, Atlas & Glover 1966; Hardy & Glover 1966). June-August: Dolgoprudnyi (near Moscow), Russia, polarimetric observations of “angels” (insects) with a centrimetric narrow-beam radar (Chernikov & Shypyatskii 1967).

cer3p1965. June: central Oklahoma, USA, National Severe Storms Laboratory – Velocity-Azimuth Display (VAD) analysis of Doppler radar observations of “dot angel” (insect) echoes, including in a low-level jet wind. (Lhermitte 1966). (Summer): Dolgoprudnyi (near Moscow), Russia, polarimetric observations of “angels” (insects) with a centrimetric narrow-beam radar (Chernikov & Shypyatskii 1967). September: Bedford, Massachusetts, USA, Air Force Cambridge Research Laboratories – Velocity-Azimuth Display (VAD) analysis of Doppler radar observations of “dot angel” (insect) echoes. (Browning & Atlas 1966).

cer3p1966. May: Sudbury, Massachusetts, USA, USAF Cambridge Research Laboratories/Applied Physics Laboratory of John Hopkins University – insects in organised convection cells. (Hardy & Katz 1969). July-August: Dolgoprudnyi (near Moscow), Russia, observations of “angels” (insects) with a centrimetric narrow-beam radar (Gorelik & Uglova 1968). August: Vail, Arizona, USA, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, University of Arizona – Doppler and depolarization observations of “dot angel” (insect) echoes (Lofgren & Battan 1969).

cer3p1967. August: Vail, Arizona, USA, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, University of Arizona – Doppler and depolarization observations of “dot angel” (insect) echoes. (Lofgren & Battan 1969).

cer3p1968. September-October: In Abangharit, Niger, LUT/ALRC – first demonstration of an entomological radar, with many migration phenomena revealed for the first time; grasshoppers, locusts, butterflies (Schaefer 1969; 1972; 1976; Roffey 1969).

cer3p1969. Summer: Fort Monmouth, New Jersey, U.S.A., USAElC – mosquito swarms (Frost 1970). July: San Diego, California, U.S.A., Naval Electronics Laboratory Center (US Navy) – insects and boundary-layer structure, FM-CW radar (Atlas, Harris & Richter 1970; Atlas et al. 1970; Battan 1973; Gossard & Chadwick 1979; Gossard & Strauch 1983). September: Fort Hancock, New Jersey, U.S.A., USAElC – mosquito swarms (Frost 1970, 1971a, 1971b).

cer3p1970. February: San Diego, California, U.S.A., Naval Electronics Laboratory Center (US Navy) – insects and boundary-layer structure, FM-CW radar (Gossard & Strauch 1983). August: Manahawkin, New Jersey, U.S.A., USAElC – mosquito swarms (Downing & Frost 1972). ?Month-January 1971: Dire Dawa and Urso, Ethiopia, LUT/DLCOEA/ALRC – scanning radar trials (L. Larrad & G.W.Schaefer, pers. comm. to VAD, ~1974).

cer3p1971. March: Coonamble, New South Wales, Australia – mixed species LUT/CSIRO (Schaefer 1976; Roffey 1972). June: Chateauroux, France, Observatoire du Puy de Dome – “angel” (insect) echoes in stable and convective boundary layers, 8.6-mm radar (Campistron & Sauvageot 1974; Campistron 1975). Summer: Manahawkin, New Jersey, U.S.A., USAElC – mosquito swarms (Frost 1971a, 1971b). October-November: Gezira, Sudan, LUT/AARU – mainly grasshoppers (Schaefer 1976). November-December: Carrathool, New South Wales, Australia, CSIRO – mixed species (Roffey 1972).

cer3p1972. January: Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, CSIRO/Sydney University School of Electrical Engineering/Australian Department of Transport – “angels” on air-traffic control radars. February-March: Tihamah, Saudi Arabia, COPR – individual desert locusts (Riley 1973, 1974). March: Cunnamulla, Queensland, Australia, CSIRO – Australian plague locusts. April (San Diego) and August (Salton Sea), California, U.S.A., Naval Electronics Laboratory Center (US Navy) and ARS, FM/CW radar – crickets, moths, and other insects (Richter et al. 1973; Gossard & Strauch 1983). May-June: Fort Sill, Oklahoma, U.S.A., USAElC – insects as “radar clutter” (Frost & Robinson 1973). July-August: Chateauroux, France, Observatoire du Puy de Dome – “angel” (insect) echoes in stable and convective boundary layers, 8.6-mm radar (Campistron & Sauvageot 1974; Campistron 1975). November: Lapithos and Athienous, Cyprus, COPR – Spodoptera littoralis emigration and immigration.

cer3p1973. February San Diego, California, U.S.A., Naval Electronics Laboratory Center (US Navy) and ARS, FM/CW radar (Richter et al. 1973; Gossard & Strauch 1983). June: Aspendale, Victoria, Australia, CSIRO/CSIRO Division of Atmospheric Physics – mixed species, movement across Port Phillip bay. July: Chipman, New Brunswick, Canada, LUT/AARU/CFS – spruce budworm moths (Schaefer 1976; Rainey & Haggis 1987). September-October: Stanley, Tasmania, Australia, CSIRO – early spring moth migrations across Bass Strait (Drake et al. 1981). October: Gezira, Sudan, LUT/AARU – mainly grasshoppers (Schaefer 1976). October-November: Kara, Mali, COPR – grasshoppers (Riley & Reynolds 1986, 1990; Riley 1989).

cer3p1974. February: Benalla, Victoria, Australia, CSIRO – Australian plague locusts and other insects by day (in convection) and night (Reid, Wardhaugh & Roffey 1979). March: Edgeroi, New 4South Wales, Australia, CSIRO/COPR – mixed species, and measurements of echoes from released insects. July: Chipman & Renous (two sites simultaneously), New Brunswick, Canada, LUT/AARU/CFS – spruce budworm moths (Dickison et al. 1986; Rainey 1989) [photo]. July: ?San Diego, California?, U.S.A., Naval Electronics Laboratory Center (US Navy) – insects and boundary-layer structure, FM-CW radar (Gossard & Chadwick 1979). July-August: Sterling, Colorado, U.S.A., ?organisation? – insects and boundary-layer structure, FM-CW radar (Gossard & Strauch 1983). July-August: Grover, Colorado, USA, NCAR – insects echo on Doppler weather radar (Gray et al. 1975). October: Gezira, Sudan, LUT/AARU [photo]. November: Kara, Mali, COPR – grasshoppers (Riley & Reynolds 1979, 1986, 1990; Riley 1989).

cer3p1975. July: Chipman & Juniper (two sites simultaneously), New Brunswick, Canada, LUT/AARU/CFS -spruce budworm moths, first use of airborne entomological radar (Greenbank, Rainey & Schaefer 1980; Rainey 1989; Schaefer 1979). October-November: Kara and Alfande, Mali (two sites simultaneously), COPR – grasshoppers, scanning and vertical-looking rotating-polarisation radars (Riley & Reynolds 1979, 1986, 1990; Riley 1989).

cer3p1976. March: Narrabri, New South Wales, Australia, CSIRO – mixed species, and observations of behaviour during spraying. July: Acadia, New Brunswick, Canada, LUT/AARU/CFS – spruce budworm moths, airborne entomological radar (Schaefer 1979; Greenbank, Rainey & Schaefer 1980; Rainey 1989; Rainey & Haggis 1988).

cer3p1977. January-February: Cape Wessell & Smith Point (two sites simultaneously), Northern Territory, Australia, CSIRO/COPR – migration across Arafura Sea. July-December: Nagoya, Japan, Water Research Institute, Nagoya University – insects as “clear-air echo” (Takeda & Murabayashi 1981). August: Hanley Castle, Worcestershire, U.K., COPR – observations over River Severn and at altitude, but only low numbers of insects were detected. December-March 1978: Waraber Island, Queensland, Australia, CSIRO – migration across Torres Strait.

cer3p1978. All year, but especially August: Nagoya, Japan, Water Research Institute, Nagoya University – insects as “clear-air echo” (Takeda & Murabayashi 1981). September-March 1979: Trangie, New South Wales, Australia, CSIRO with APLC – grasshoppers and moths, with observations of insects in solitary wave disturbances of the atmospheric boundary layer (Drake 1984a; Drake 1985a). September-October: Daoga and Tin Aouker, Mali (two sites simultaneously), COPR – Oedaleus senegalensis, Diabolocatantops axillaris, and other grasshoppers, scanning and vertical-looking rotating-polarisation radars (Reynolds & Riley 1983, Riley & Reynolds 1983, 1986, 1990; Riley 1989). Fall: Phoenix, Arizona, WCRL – insects over a cottonfield and adjacent desert (Wolf 1979).

cer3p1979. March-April: Mt Margaret/Akira ranch, Kenya, COPR – African armyworm, two radars (one at emigration site and one “downrange” from it) and IR moth detector (Riley, Reynolds & Farmery 1981). April-October: Phoenix/Rainbow Valley, Arizona, WCRL – unidentified insects, a variety of migration phenomena and flight above and from cotton (Wolf 1979; Lingren & Wolf 1982; Lingren et al. 1982). May: Watonga, Oklahoma, USA, NCAR – insects on Doppler weather radar (Wilson et al. 1980). July: Cranfield, U.K., CIT – aphids (including trap calibration) (Schaefer, Bent & Cannon 1979; Bent 1984; Schaefer, Bent & Allsopp 1985). October-December: Trangie, New South Wales, Australia, CSIRO – mainly acridids, including Australian plague locusts (Drake 1982a, 1983; Drake & Farrow 1983).

cer3p1980. February-April: near Lukenya Hill, Kenya, COPR – African armyworm, two radars (one at emigration site and one “downrange” from it) and IR moth detector (Riley, Reynolds & Farmery 1983). August: Tifton, Georgia, USA, WCRL and SGIRL – unidentified insects (Lingren & Wolf 1982). September: Trangie, New South Wales, Australia, CSIRO – early spring moth migrations (Drake 1985b) (photo). December: Canberra, Australia, CSIRO; observations of beetle flight and of insects in a sea breeze front (Drake 1982b).

cer3p1981. March-September: Tifton, Georgia, USA, SGIRL – unidentified insects, a variety of migration phenomena (Raulston et al. 1982; Wolf & Pair 1982). September: Corny Point, South Australia, Australia, CSIRO – early spring moth migrations (Drake 1984b; Drake & Farrow 1985).

cer3p1982. January-February: Braidwood, New South Wales, Australia, CSIRO – insects on sea breeze. March: Mara River, Kenya, COPR – African armyworm, scanning and vertical-looking rotating-polarisation radars (Riley & Reynolds1986; Riley 1989). March-April: La Paloma (near Brownsville) and College Station, Texas, USDA-ARS – probably mainly moths including Heliothis spp. (Westbrook et al. 1987, Wolf et al. 1986, Westbrook. 2008). April-May: near Lukenya Hill, Kenya, COPR – African armyworm, scanning radar and mark-and-capture experiment (Rose et al.1985). June: near Champaign, Illinois, USA, INHS/ISWS – dual-polarization observations of insects and other targets, using CHILL S-band and tracking X-band radars simultaneously (Mueller & Larkin 1985). October: Gulf of Mexico, USDA-ARS – moths and other insects, ship-borne radar (Wolf et al. 1986). [Photo.]

cer3p1983. ?March: Los Banos, Philippines, TDRI – planthoppers, millimetric radar. April-May: Gulf of Mexico, USDA-ARS – moths and other insects, ship-borne radar (Wolf et al. 1986). [Photo.] September: College Station, Texas, USA, USDA-ARS – fall migration of unidentified insects (Sparks et al. 1985).

cer3p1984. February: Darling Downs, Queensland, Australia, CSIRO – moths. March: Los Banos, Philippines, TDRI with CSIRO – planthoppers, millimetric radar (Riley, Reynolds & Farrow 1987). June: Ying County, Shanxi province, China, JAAS – meadow moths (Chen et al. 1992, Sun 1998); Lower Rio Grande Valley, Texas, USA, USDA-ARS – spring migration of insects, possibly Heliothis or Spodoptera (Pair et al. 1987). July-August: Gongzhuling, Jilin province, China, JAAS – oriental armyworm moths (Sun 1998). August: Illinois, USA, INHS/ISWS – aphids and other insects, CHILL dual-polarisation Doppler radar (Hendrie et al. 1985; Irwin & Thresh 1988). September-October: Ararat, Australia, CSIRO- early spring moth immigration. September: Plainview and Eden, Texas, USA, USDA-ARS – fall migration of unidentified insects (Sparks et al. 1985; Pair et al. 1987). November: Hillston & Hay, New South Wales, Australia, CSIRO with APLC – Australian plague locust migration.

cer3p1985. May-June: Lower Rio Grande Valley, Texas, PMRU – Heliothis and other moths (Miller 1987; Wolf et al. 1994, 1995); Gongzhuling, Jilin province, China, JAAS – oriental armyworm moths (Sun 1998, Sun & Chen 1999). June: near Helsinki, Finland, University of Helsinki – birds feeding on insects in sea breeze, Doppler radar (Puhakka, Koistinen & Smith 1986). June-August: near Uppsala, Sweden, SUAS – carabid beetles (walking), harmonic direction finder (Mascanzoni & Wallin 1986); Gongzhuling, Jilin province, China, JAAS – oriental armyworm moths (Sun 1998, Sun & Chen 1999). July: Lawrence, Kansas, USDA-ARS with Univ. of Kansas Dept. of Entomology and CHBRC – honeybee drones (Loper, Wolf & Taylor 1987, 1988). November-December: ICRISAT experimental farm, near Hyderabad, India, TDRI – Heliothis armigera flight and migration (Riley et al. 1992), and trial of prototype nutating-beam vertical-looking radar.

cer3p1986. February: Emerald, Queensland, Australia. (CSIRO, with ARS). Month?: near Uppsala, Sweden, SUAS – carabid beetles walking, harmonic direction finder (Wallin & Ekbom 1988). May-June: Lower Rio Grande Valley, Texas, APMRU – Heliothis and other moths (Wolf et al. 1994, 1995). June: Gongzhuling, Jilin Province, China, JAAS with CSIRO – oriental armyworm moths (Chen et al. 1989; Chen et al. 1995, Sun & Chen 1999) [photo]. July: Burleson County, Texas, PMRU – scanning radar (Beerwinkle, Lopez & Witz 1988). July-August: Gongzhuling, Jilin province, China, JAAS – oriental armyworm moths (Sun 1998, Sun & Chen 1999). November-December: ICRISAT experimental farm, near Hyderabad, India, TDRI – Heliothis armigera flight and migration (Riley et al. 1992).

cer3p1987. March-April: Tucson/Willcox/Sonoita, Arizona, CIPMRU with CHBRC – honeybee drones (Loper, Wolf & Taylor 1988, 1992, 1993). Spring: Munster, Germany, Zoological Institute of Munster University and SUAS -carabid beetle walking movements, harmonic direction finder (Hockmann et al. 1989, Weber & Heimbach 2001). May-June: Lower Rio Grande Valley, Texas, USA, APMRU – Heliothis and other moths, and trial of airborne entomological radar (Hobbs & Wolf 1989, 1996; Wolf et al. 1994, 1995); Gongzhuling, Jilin province, China, JAAS – oriental armyworm moths (Sun 1998, Sun & Chen 1999). October-November: Eugowra, New South Wales, Australia, CSIRO. July: Burleson County, Texas, USA, PMRU – scanning radar (Beerwinkle, Lopez & Witz 1988). July: North Dakota, USA, North Dakota Atmospheric Resource Board/ISWS – CHILL dual-polarisation Doppler radar, grasshoppers (unconfirmed) interacting with gust front (Achtemeier 1991a; 1991b; 1991c; 1992). July-August: near Bordeaux, France, Universite Paul Sabatier – 8.6-mm radar, insect concentrations forming offshore at night (Sauvageot & Despaux 1996). November-December: ICRISAT experimental farm, near Hyderabad, India, TDRI – Heliothis armigera flight and migration (Riley et al. 1992).

cer3p1988. February-October: Burleson County, Texas, CIPMRU – scanning radar (Beerwinkle et al. 1994). March-April: Tucson, Arizona, CIPMRU with CHBRC – honeybee drones (Loper, Wolf & Taylor 1992, 1993). May: Helsinki, Finland, University of Helsinki Department of Meteorology (M. Leskinen) – Tuulia Doppler meteorological radar, aphids (Nieminen, 2000). May-June: Lower Rio Grande Valley, Texas, APMRU – Heliothis and other moths (Wolf et al. 1994, 1995); Gongzhuling, Jilin Province, China, JAAS – oriental armyworm (Sun 1998, Sun & Chen 1999). June-August: San Joaquin Valley, California, University of California (Berkeley)/SUAS – harmonic direction finder, carabid beetle foraging (Wallin 1991). September: Jiangpu, Jiangsu Province, China, NAU/NRIRU – brown planthopper (Cheng et al. 1994; Riley et al. 1990, 1991; Riley 1992, 1995) (photo).

cer3p1989. February-October: Burleson County, Texas, CIPMRU – scanning radar (Beerwinkle et al. 1994). March: Lower Rio Grande Valley and southern Texas, Texas, IBPMRL – airborne and scanning radar observations of Heliothis moths (Wolf et al. 1990). March-April: Tucson, Arizona, CIPMRU with CHBRC – honeybee drone flight (Loper, Wolf & Taylor 1990, 1992, 1993). May-June: Bayuquan, Liaoning Province, China, JAAS with CSIRO – oriental armyworm (Chen et al. 1995, Sun & Chen 1999); Lower Rio Grande Valley, Texas, IBPMRL – Heliothis, Spodoptera and other moths, including observations with airborne radar (Hobbs & Wolf 1996; Pair et al. 1991; Wolf et al. 1990, 1994, 1995). June-July: near Uppsala, Sweden, SUAS – Pterostichus beetles, harmonic direction finder (Wallin & Ekbom 1994). October-November: Jugiong, New South Wales, Australia, CSIRO with Dr S.L. Buchmann – honeybee foraging flights and drone congregation areas [photo]. November-January 1990: Narrabri, New South Wales, Australia, CSIRO – Heliothis moth flight (Drake 1990; Drake, Fitt & Rochester 1993; Drake & Rochester 1994).

cer3p1990. January-December: Burleson County, Texas, CIPMRU – vertical-looking radar (Beerwinkle, Witz & Schleider 1993; Beerwinkle et al. 1995. March-April: Tucson/Willcox, Arizona, CIPMRU with CHBRC – honeybee drones (Loper, Wolf & Taylor 1990, 1992, 1993). May-June: Lower Rio Grande Valley and La Gloria, Texas, APMRU – Heliothis and other moths (Wolf et al. 1994, 1995; Westbrook et al. 1995); Caijia, Jilin Province, China, JAAS – oriental armyworm (Sun 1998, Sun & Chen 1999). June-July: near Stockholm, Sweden, SUAS – Pterostichus beetles, harmonic direction finder (Wallin & Ekbom 1994). August-September: Jiangpu, Jiangsu Province, China, NAU/NRIRU – brown planthopper (Ming et al. 1993; Cheng et al. 1994; Riley et al. 1994, 1995). November-January 1991: Narrabri, New South Wales, Australia, CSIRO with NRIRU – Heliothis moth flight (photo) and trial of NRI VLR (photo) (Drake, Fitt & Rochester 1993; Smith, Riley & Gregory 1993; Drake & Rochester 1994).

cer3p1991. January-December: Burleson County, Texas, CIPMRU – vertical-looking radar (Beerwinkle, Witz & Schleider 1993; Beerwinkle et al. 1995). May-June: Caijia, Jilin Province, China, JAAS – oriental armyworm moths (Chen et al. 1995; Sun 1998, Sun & Chen 1999). July-August: Cape Canaveral, Florida, NCAR – Doppler meteorological radar, insects as “clear-air echo”/”aerial plankton” in sea breeze (“CaPE Experiment”) (Wilson et al. 1994; Russell & Wilson 1996; Russell & Wilson 1997; Russell 1999, Russell & Wilson 2001). October: Dongxiang, Jiangxi Province, China, NAU/NRIRU – brown planthopper (Ming et al. 1993; Riley et al. 1995).

cer3p1992. February-March: Kansas, USA, NCAR – Doppler meteorological radar, insects as “clear-air echo” (Wilson et al. 1994). February-October: White Sands, New Mexico, USA, USARL – insects detected on FM-CW radar (McLaughlin 1993; Eaton, McLaughlin & Hines 1995). April-May: near Elgin, Scotland, Departments of Agriculture and Zoology, University of Aberdeen – carabid beetle walking movements, harmonic direction finder (Kennedy & Young 1993; Kennedy 1994). May-June: Lishu, Jilin Province, China, JAAS with ASOP/CSIRO – oriental armyworm (Sun 1998, Sun & Chen 1999). June-July: Lower Rio Grande Valley, Texas, APMRU – corn earworm (Westbrook et al. 1995); Boulder, Colorado, NCAR – Doppler meteorological radar, insects as “clear-air echo” (Wilson et al. 1994). July: Yanqing, Beijing city, China, JAAS – Chinese pine moth flight over forests (Sun et al. 1995; Sun 1998).

cer3p1993. May-June: Greeley, Colorado, USA, INHS and Colorado State University – observations of migrating aphids and other insects with helicopter-mounted trap and CHILL radar; Lishu, Jilin Province, China, JAAS – oriental armyworm (Sun 1998, Sun & Chen 1999). July: near Beijing, China, JAAS – Chinese pine moth flight over forests (Sun et al. 1995; Sun 1998). September-October: Akjoujt & Achram (consecutively), Mauritania, NRIRU – desert locusts, VLR and (Akjoujt only) scanning radar (Riley & Reynolds 1996, 1997) (photo).

cer3p1994. ?Month: Lower Rio Grande Valley, Texas, USA, APMRU – observations of corn earworm Helicoverpa zea migration. May-June: Greeley, Colorado, USA, INHS and Colorado State University – observations of migrating aphids (including Russian Wheat Aphid Diuraphis noxia) and other insects with helicopter-mounted trap and CHILL radar. September: Brazos Bend State Park, Texas, APMRU – comparison of NEXRAD and entomological radar observations. September-October: Aioun el Atrouss, Mauritania, NRIRU – desert locusts, VLR (Riley & Reynolds 1996, 1997).

cer3p1995. February-March: Lower Rio Grande Valley, Texas, USA, APMRU – early season corn earworm Helicoverpa zea migration. Autumn: Longreach, Queensland, Australia, ASOP with APLC – spur-throated locusts, IMR (Drake, Harman, & Hunter 1998). June: Lower Rio Grande Valley, Texas, USA, APMRU (with supplementary NEXRAD observations) – mid-season corn earworm and beet armyworm Spodoptera exigua migration (Westbrook & Wolf 1998, Westbrook et al. 1998, Westbrook 2008). June-November: Malvern, U.K., NRIRU – mixed species, VLR (Smith et al. 2000, Reynolds et al. 2005). ?Month/?Year: Near New Braunfels, Texas, USA, APMRU – ground truthing of NEXRAD measurements of insect migration. August: Harpenden, U.K., NRIRU/IACR – bee flight, harmonic radar (Riley et al. 1996; Carreck 1996, Williams et al. 2000). August-September: Near San Angelo, Texas, USA, APMRU – observations of beet armyworm flight.

cer3p1996. March, June: Lower Rio Grande Valley, Texas (three sites simultaneously, plus supplementary NEXRAD observations), APMRU with ASOP – spring movements of Heliothis moths, scanning, tracking, and monitoring radars and identification studies (Drake et al. 1998, Westbrook & Wolf 1998). June: Harpenden, U.K., NRIRU/IACR – bumblebee flight, harmonic radar (photo) (Osborne et al. 1999, Riley et al. 1999, Williams et al. 2000, Riley & Osborne 2001). July: Uvalde, Texas, APMRU – Heliothis departure from corn, and bat activity (McCracken & Westbrook 2002). August: Harpenden, U.K., NRIRU/IACR – observations of bumblebee flight (Osborne et al. 1999, Riley et al. 1999, Williams et al. 2000), and feasibility study of tracking flights of male turnip moths to pheromones (Riley et al. 1998), harmonic radar. August-September: Donna, Seguin and College Station, Texas – observations of summer/early fall insect migration, including comparison trial of APMRU with ASOP entomological radars alongside NEXRAD weather radar (photos) (Westbrook et al. 1998).

cer3p1997. February: near Manuwatu, New Zealand, Department of Ecology, Massey University – harmonic direction finder study of ground beetles (Lövei et al. 1997). June: Helsinki, Finland, University of Helsinki Department of Meteorology (M. Leskinen) – Tuulia Doppler meteorological radar, diamondback moths. June-July: Harpenden, U.K., NRIRU/IACR/University of Illinois Department of Entomology – observations of honeybee orientation flights with harmonic entomological radar (Riley & Osborne 2001); also (with Lund University Department of Ecology) of turnip moths (Riley & Osborne 2001). June-July: Brazos Valley, near College Station, Texas, APMRU, scanning radar – local and distant flights of corn earworms. July-December: Kanto Plain, Japan, Meteorological Research Institute, Tsukuba, Japan, scanning meteorological radar – insects as source of radar echo (Kusunoki 2002). August: Meteorological-radar observations of moth migration into Finland (Leskinen et al. 2012a).

cer3p1998. May-December: Bourke, New South Wales, Australia, ASoP/APLC/University of New England Insect Pest Management Group – moths and locusts, IMR (Drake et al. 2001). June-July: Harpenden, U.K., NRIRU/IACR – harmonic radar observations of bumblebee (Bombus terrestris) orientation flights (Osborne et al. 2013). August: Harpenden, U.K., NRIRU/IACR/Lund University Department of Ecology – harmonic radar observations of male turnip moths (Agrotis segetum) flying in areas treated with large amounts of pheromone (Riley & Osborne 2001, Svensson et al. 2001, Reynolds et al. 2007a).

cer3p1999. All year: Bourke, New South Wales, Australia, ASoP/APLC/University of New England Insect Pest Management Group – moths and locusts, IMR (Drake et al 2001, Drake et al 2002a, Wang & Drake 2004, Dean & Drake 2005, Drake 2005). May-December: Harpenden, U.K., NRIRU/IACR – insect flight and migration over south-central England, Vertical-Looking Radar, Reynolds et al. 2005. May-June: Gongzhuling, Jilin province, China, JAAS – observations of oriental armyworm moths. June: Harpenden, U.K., NRIRU/University of Illinois Department of Entomology – observations of honeybee orientation flights with harmonic entomological radar; Zhenlai, Jilin province, China, JAAS – observations of meadow moths. July: Cardington, UK, NRIRU/IACR – second VLR operated simultaneously with Harpenden unit ~50 km away and nearby aerial-trapping operations. July-August: Klein Lüben (near Wittenberge), Germany, NRIRU/Freie Universität Berlin – study of honeybee navigation with harmonic entomological radar (Riley et al. 2003, Menzel et al. 2005, Reynolds et al. 2007b, Reynolds et al. 2013); Gongzhuling, Jilin province, China, JAAS – observations of oriental armyworm moths. September-October: Beijing, China, CAAS – study of autumn migration of cotton bollworm and other noctuid moths (Wu et al 2001) (first use of CAAS scanning entomological radar). September-: Thargomindah, Queensland, Australia, ASoP/APLC/University of New England Insect Pest Management Group – moths and locusts, IMR. October-: Malvern, U.K., NRIRU/IACR – insect flight and migration over west-central England, Vertical-Looking Radar.

cer3p2000. All year: The Bourke and Thargomindah IMRs in Australia, ASoP/APLC/University of New England Insect Pest Management Group (Drake et al. 2002b, Harman & Drake 2004, Wang & Drake 2004) and the Malvern and Rothamsted VLRs in Britain (NRIRU/IACR) continued operating, with the latter incorporating studies of diamondback moth migrations (Chapman et al. 2002); layering (Reynolds et al. 2005; Wood et al. 2006; Reynolds et al. 2008; Wood et al. 2009; Wood et al. 2010), orientation by migrating moths and butterflies (Chapman et al. 2008a; Chapman et al. 2008b; Chapman et al. 2010; Reynolds et al. 2010; Aralimarad et al. 2011; Chapman et al. 2013), moth migration distances (Alerstam et al. 2011), and moth population processes (Chapman et al. 2012). May-June: Gongzhuling (Jilin province), China, JAAS – study of oriental armyworm immigration into NE China with JAAS scanning radar. July: Langfang (near Beijing), China, CAAS – study of cotton bollworm first migration period with CAAS scanning radar (PPI images available).

cer3p2001. All year: The Malvern and Rothamsted VLRs in Britain (NRIRU/IACR) continued operating (Reynolds et al. 2005; Chapman et al. 2006; Reynolds et al. 2008; Wood et al. 2009; Chapman et al. 2010; Reynolds et al. 2010; Wood et al. 2010, Chapman et al. 2012). The Malvern VLR was relocated to a new site, about 3 km from the previous one, in September. January-November: IMR at Bourke, NSW, Australia (ASoP/APLC/University of New England Insect Pest Management Group, Drake et al 2002b); operation of this group’s second IMR, at Thargomindah, Qld, was suspended in February. May-October: Langfang (near Beijing), China, CAAS – study of migration by cotton bollworm, beet webworm (Feng et al. 2003; Feng et al. 2004b; Feng et al. 2005a; Feng et al. 2005b), and other species with CAAS scanning radar. July-August: Klein Lüben (near Wittenberge), Germany, NRIRU/Freie Universität Berlin – study of honeybee navigation with harmonic entomological radar (Menzel et al. 2005, Reynolds et al. 2013).

cer3p2002. All year: The Malvern and Rothamsted VLRs in Britain (NRIRU/RREU) continue in operation (Chapman et al. 2005; Chapman et al. 2006; Wood et al. 2009; Chapman et al. 2010; Reynolds et al. 2010; ; Wood et al. 2010, Chapman et al. 2012). March-May/December: the Australian network of two IMRs at Bourke (NSW) and Thargomindah (Qld) (ASoP/APLC) brought back into operation, though the Bourke unit failed in May. April: Bourke (NSW)/Thargomindah (Qld) region, Australia, ASoP – investigation of spatial correlation of insect migration with mobile IMR (Dean et al. 2002). May-June: Oklahoma and Kansas, USA, University of Wyoming airborne W-band observations of insects flying in daytime convection (Miao et al. 2006, Geerts et al. 2002, Geerts & Miao 2005a, 2005b, Geerts et al. 2006) and University of Massachusetts FM-CW profiler observations of insects flying by day and night (Contreras & Frasier 2008). May-October: Langfang (near Beijing), China, CAAS – study of migration by cotton bollworm, beet webworm (Feng et al. 2004a; Feng et al. 2004b; Feng et al. 2005a; Feng et al. 2005b), and ground beetles (Carabidae) (Feng et al. 2007) with CAAS scanning radar. June-July: Wu Qing county, near Beijing, China, Chinese Academy of Forestry/USDA-Forest Service – Anoplophora glabripenis beetles, harmonic direction finder (Williams et al. 2004). August-September: Harpenden, UK, RREU – harmonic entomological radar observations of foraging behaviour in British butterflies (Cant et al. 2005).

cer3p2003. January-: The Malvern and Rothamsted VLRs in Britain (RREU) continue in operation, with the latter incorporating studies of lacewing migration (Chapman et al. 2006); layering (Wood et al. 2006; Chapman et al. 2006; Reynolds et al. 2008; Wood et al. 2009; Wood et al. 2010), orientation by migrating moths and butterflies (Chapman et al. 2008a; Chapman et al. 2008b; Chapman et al. 2010; Reynolds et al. 2010; Aralimarad et al. 2011; Chapman et al. 2013), moth migration distances (Alerstam et al. 2011), and moth population processes (Chapman et al. 2012). January-March(?): IMR at Thargomindah (Qld) (ASoP/APLC) continues in operation. May-October: Beihuangcheng Island (Bohai Sea, near Changdao, Shandong province), China, CAAS – scanning entomological radar observations of moth and dragonfly migration over the sea (Feng et al. 2006; Feng et al. 2008). July: Chilbolton, Hampshire, UK – cloud-radar (94 GHz; Rutherford Appleton Laboratory) observations of insects in convection (Wood et al. 2009); meteorological-radar observations of moth migration into Finland (Leskinen et al. 2012b). July-August: RAF Wyton (near Huntingdon), UK – harmonic entomological radar (RREU) observations of ‘vector’ flights in honeybee foragers (Reynolds et al. 2007c). August-October: Mauritania – ornithological radar observations of high-flying painted lady butterflies at both coast and inland sites (Stefanescu et al. 2012).

cer3p2004. January-: The Malvern and Rothamsted VLRs in Britain (RREU) continued operating until April, when the Malvern unit was shut down prior to relocation to Chilbolton (Hampshire), where it recommenced operation in June (Chapman et al. 2006; Reynolds et al. 2008; Chapman et al. 2010; Reynolds et al. 2010, Chapman et al. 2012). May-September: Lamont, Oklahoma, USA, ARM (Atmospheric Radiation Measurement program) MMCR (millimeter-wavelength cloud radar) observations of convection using (micro-)insect echo (Chandra et al. 2010). May-October: Beihuangcheng Island (Bohai Sea, near Changdao, Shandong province), China, CAAS – scanning entomological radar observations of moth and dragonfly migration over the sea (Feng et al. 2006; Feng et al. 2008). July: Chilbolton, UK meteorological radar observations of break-up of morning insect layer (Bennett et al. 2008). August: IMR at Bourke (NSW, Australia) (ASoP/APLC) recommenced operation in an upgraded form, for a project on locust forecasting in collaboration with APLC. July-September: Chengdu city, SW China – initial trials of CAAS vertical-beam radar (VLR) (Zhang et al. 2007a). November: IMR at Thargomindah (Qld, Australia) recommenced operation.

cer3p2005. All year : The Chilbolton and Rothamsted VLRs in Britain (RREU) (Chapman et al. 2010; Reynolds et al. 2010, Chapman et al. 2012) and the Bourke and Thargomindah IMRs in Australia (ASoP/APLC) continued in operation. May-September: Lamont, Oklahoma, USA, ARM MMCR observations of convection using (micro-)insect echo (Chandra et al. 2010); Zhenlai, Jilin province, China, CAAS – vertical-beam radar (VLR) observations of migrations of oriental army Mythimna separata moths (Zhang et al. 2013). May-October: Beihuang Island (Bohai Sea, near Changdao, Shandong province), China, CAAS – scanning entomological radar observations of moth and ground beetle (Carabidae) migration over the sea (Feng et al. 2007, Feng et al. 2008, Feng et al. 2009). June: Chilbolton, England – multi-wavelength and polarimetric radar observations of insect layers near a thunderstorm with (Browning et al. 2011). June-September: Zhenlai county, Jilin province, China – VLR (CAAS) observations of clover cutworm (Pyralidae) (Zhang et al. 2007b) and ground beetle (Carabidae) (Feng et al. 2007; Zhang et al. 2008) flights.

cer3p2006. All year : The Chilbolton and Rothamsted VLRs in Britain (RREU) and the Bourke and Thargomindah IMRs in Australia (ASoP/APLC) continued in operation, with the former supporting studies of orientation by migrating moths and butterflies (Chapman et al. 2008b; Chapman et al. 2010; Reynolds et al. 2010; Aralimarad et al. 2011; Chapman et al. 2013), of moth migration distances (Alerstam et al. 2011), and of moth population processes (Chapman et al. 2012). May: Finland: insect migration in a layer observed with dual-polarized meteorological Doppler radars (Leskinen et al., 2009). May-June: East Wretham Heath (nr. Thetford, Norfolk), UK – harmonic entomological radar (RREU) observations of released Glanville Fritillary butterflies (with Univ. of Helsinki) (Ovaskainen et al. 2008; Wang et al. 2011). May-September: Lamont, Oklahoma, USA, ARM MMCR observations of convection using (micro-)insect echo (Chandra et al. 2010). May-October: Beihuang Island (Bohai Sea, near Changdao, Shandong province), China, CAAS – scanning entomological radar observations of moth migration over the sea (Feng et al. 2008, Feng et al. 2009). June-September: Jining city, Inner Mongolia, China – VLR (CAAS) observations of ground beetle (Carabidae) flights.

cer3p2007. All year : The Chilbolton and Rothamsted VLRs in Britain (RREU) (Chapman et al. 2010, Chapman et al. 2012) and the Bourke and Thargomindah IMRs in Australia (ASoP/APLC) (Drake 2013) continued in operation. April-October: Beihuang Island (Bohai Sea, near Changdao, Shandong province), China, CAAS – scanning entomological radar observations of moth migration over the sea (Feng et al. 2009). May-July: Finland: aphid and moth migration across the Gulf of Finland and in layers, using meteorological Doppler radars (Leskinen et al., 2009, Leskinen et al., 2011). May-September: Lamont, Oklahoma, USA, ARM MMCR observations of convection using (micro-)insect echo (Chandra et al. 2010). June-September: England (three sites): investigation of insect echo for radar wind finding, using meteorological Doppler radars (Illingworth & Rennie, 2009; Rennie et al., 2010a; Rennie et al., 2010b). June-October: Xing’an, Guangxi Zhuang AR, China, CAAS – millimetric radar observations of brown planthopper (Nilaparvata lugens) and rice leaf roller moth (Cnaphalocrocis medinalis) migration (Yang et al. 2008; Qi et al. 2014). July: Chilbolton, Hampshire, UK – cloud-radars (35 GHz and 94 GHz; UK Meteorological Office) observations of insects in convection (Wood et al. 2009). July-September: Pukou, near Nanjing, Jiangsu province, China, NAU – insect monitoring Doppler radar observations of rice leaf roller (Cnaphalocrocis medinalis) moth migration (Gao et al. 2008).

cer3p2008. All year: The Chilbolton and Rothamsted VLRs in Britain (RREU) (Chapman et al. 2012) continued in operation. The Thargomindah IMR in Australia (ASoP/APLC) ran until April and the Bourke IMR until late December (the latter being put out of operation by a wind-storm) (Drake 2013, Drake & Wang 2013). May-June: Finland: aphid migration across the Gulf of Finland and in layers, using meteorological Doppler radars (Leskinen et al., 2009, Leskinen et al., 2011). May-September: England (four sites): investigation of insect echo for radar wind finding, using meteorological Doppler radars (Illingworth & Rennie, 2009; Rennie et al., 2010a; Rennie et al., 2010b; Rennie et al., 2011). July-August: Rothamsted, UK – harmonic entomological radar (RREU) observations of honeybees (Reynolds et al. 2009). August-September: Klein Lüben, Germany, FUB harmonic radar observations of bee flight (Menzel et al., 2012).

cer3p2009. All year: VLR operations at Chilbolton and Rothamsted, UK (RREU) (Chapman et al. 2012, Stefanescu et al. 2012). Summer: England (four sites): investigation of insect echo and ground clutter (Rennie et al., 2010a; Rennie et al., 2011); Klein Lüben, Germany, FUB harmonic radar observations of bee flight (Cheeseman et al., 2014). August: Finland: meteorological radar observations of painted lady butterflies over the Gulf of Finland (Stefanescu et al., 2013). September-October: Xing’an, Guangxi Zhuang AR, China, CAAS – millimetric radar observations of brown planthopper (Nilaparvata lugens) migration (Qi et al. 2014). Unknown month: Klein Lüben, Germany, FUB harmonic radar observations of bee flight (Menzel et al., 2010, ?2011).

cer3p2010. January-: VLR operations at Chilbolton and Rothamsted, UK (RREU). January: IMR at Bourke, Australia returned to operation with new cabin. May-June: meteorological-radar observations of aphid migration in (and into) Finland (Leskinen et al., 2012a, 2012c). May-October: Beihuang Island (Bohai Sea, near Changdao, Shandong province), China, CAAS – scanning entomological radar observations of mirid bug (Miridae) migration over the sea (Fu et al. 2014). July: IMR at Thargomindah, Australia returned to operation. September-February 2011: Meteorological doppler radar observations of locust movements in eastern Australia (especially Yarrawonga, Victoria) (Rennie 2012, Rennie 2013).

cer3p2011. VLR and IMR units in UK and Australia continued in operation. May-October: Beihuang Island (Bohai Sea, near Changdao, Shandong province), China, CAAS – scanning entomological radar observations of mirid bug (Miridae) migration over the sea (Fu et al. 2014). July: Meteorological-radar observations of moth migration into Finland (Leskinen et al. 2012b). July-September: Harmonic-radar observations of flights of Nosema-infected honeybees at Harpenden (UK) (Wolf et al. 2012b).

cer3p2012. VLR and IMR units in UK and Australia continued in operation. July: Klein Lüben, Germany, FUB harmonic radar observations of bee flight (Menzel and Greggers, 2013).

cer3p2013. VLR and IMR units in UK and Australia continued in operation.

cer3p2014. VLR units in UK and Bourke IMR in Australia continued in operation; IMR at Thargomindah, Australia, decommissioned.

cer3p2017. An IMR commenced operation at Hay, New South Wales, Australia.

Organisations and individuals contributing to the development of radar entomology

The first part of this section provides background information about research groups and individual researchers currently or recently active in radar entomology. The second part gives brief accounts of organisations that had previously contributed but whose involvement has ceased. The third part lists some of the most important collaborating organisations.

Active or retaining a capacity to work in the field:-

School of Science (formerly School of Physical, Environmental and Mathematical Sciences) at UNSW Canberra (a campus of the University of New South Wales located within the Australian Defence Force Academy) in Canberra, Australia has a small group concentrating on development and application of Insect Monitoring Radars. This group derives from the former CSIRO radar program which closed in the early 1990s. It has designed and built its own ‘Insect Monitoring Radars’ (a VLR-type unit) and made long-term observations of locust and moth migration in inland eastern Australia. Activities include development of IMR/VLR analysis methods and investigations of the properties of insects as radar targets. Principal radar-entomology scientists: Zhenhua Hao, Alistair Drake (and formerly, Haikou Wang). Collaboration is principally with the Australian Plague Locust Commission, Henan Academy of Agricultural Sciences, and Lund University, Sweden.

The Institute of Plant Protection of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS), based in Beijing, commenced observations with a scanning entomological radar in summer 1999. This unit is based on an island inthe Bohai Gulf and has produced data on numerous insect species, including the cotton bollworm Helicoverpa armigera, that migrate across the Gulf into Northeast China. This project has also involved Henan Academy of Agricultural Sciences. Principal radar-entomology scientists: Dengfa Cheng (retired). CAAS also works with Beijing Institute of Technology on development of entomological radar hardware and analysis methods (Kongming Wu).

The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of New Brunswick, Fredericton, Canada has developed a portable harmonic radar and diode tags for tracking pest and beneficial insects. The research is being undertaken in collaboration with various crop entomologists. Scientist involved: Bruce Colpitts.

The Institute für Biology, Neurobiology, Freie Universität Berlin, Berlin, Germany has a harmonic scanning entomological radar developed in conjunction with the Fachhochschule, Emden, Germany. The primary application is investigation of honeybee navigation. Scientists involved: Randolf Menzel, Uwe Greggers (both FUB-IBN).

The Jilin Academy of Agricultural Sciences (JAAS), based in Gongzhuling, Jilin Province, China, operated a scanning entomological radar between 1984 and 2000, using it mainly to study migration of oriental armyworm moths into northeastern China and also for studies of flight in the meadow moth and the Chinese pine moth. Some of this work involved collaboration with CSIRO Division of Entomology. The radar has recently been modernised and a new observation program initiated. Principal scientists involved in the original program: Ruilu Chen (died 1995, Xiangzhe Bao, Yajie Sun, Baoping Zhai; from CSIRO Alistair Drake, Roger Farrow, Wayne Rochester). Current program: Wei Sun.

The University of Exeter, UK, at its Penryn, Cornwall, campus, has taken over projects formerly at Rothamsted research, using data from VLRs (Jason Chapman) and a harmonic entomological radar (Juliet Osborne). The VLR observations have been made in the UK but their analysis has involved collaboration with Nanjing Agricultural University (Gao Hu, Boya Gao) and NRI (Don Reynolds). This research has been concerned especially with orientation behaviour of a variety of high-flying migrants (a continuation of a line of enquiry started at Rothamsted Research) and estimation of the numbers of migrants participating in a migration event and the resulting ‘bioflows’ (the mass of biological material transferred).

Beijing Institute of Technology, Beijing, China has initiated an intensive program with a strong and innovative radar-technology emphasis. This includes development of VLR-type entomological radars incorporating modern radio and signal-processing technologies, extraction and interpretationn of insect echo from weatehr surveillance radars (WSRs), and measurements of insect radar cross sections and their use to estimate biological parameters (mass, length) from radar echoes. The research is undertaken in collaboration with CAAS. Principal engineers involved: Cheng Hu, Rui Wang.

The Department of Electronics and Telecommunications, Politecnico di Torino, Turin, Italy has developed a scanning harmonic radar specifically for the task of locating hornet nests by tracking the return flights of tagged individuals. Field trials are undertaken in collaboration with the Department of Agricultural, Forestry, and Food Sciences, Universitá degli Studi, Turin. Principal engineer involved: Daniele Milanesio.

The BioDAR project (principally University of Leeds, UK) aims to employ both WSRs and VLRs to study insect migration, initially over the UK (Chris Hassall, Ryan Neely III).

The Swiss Ornithological Institute (Vogelwarte) in Sempach, Switzerland, is extending its long-time interest in radar ornithology to insect observations (Felix Liechti, Baptiste Schmid, Birgen Haest). It is working in conjunction with Swiss Birdradar, which manufacturers a VLR-type radar unit that is also effective at detecting insects.

Modern Doppler meteorological radars routinely see “clear-air echo” which is due mainly to insects and birds. Observations in 1991 by the National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado, USA (NCAR, scientists J.W. Wilson, R.W. Russell) drew attention to this phenomenon. Radar meteorologists at the University of Oklahoma and the National Severe Storms Center, both in Norman, Oklahoma, USA, have made major contributions to characterising and interpreting insect echo on Doppler and dual-polarization weather surveillance radars (Dušan Zrnić, Valery Melnikov, Svetlana Bachmann, Phillip Chilson, Djordje Mirkovic). The Bureau of Meteorology, Australia, has investigated insect echo as a means of measuring winds, including research on distinguishing insect echo from other sources of radar reflectivity (Susan Rennie, who earlier conducted similar research in the UK). The Department of Meteorology of the University of Helsinki (Matti Leskinen, Jarmo Koistinen) has collaborated with entomologists to use its meteorological radars to ‘nowcast’ aphid migrations; the have also observed butterfly migrations.

No longer active but with a significant record of achievement in the field:-

Britain’s Rothamsted Research at Harpenden, Hertfordshire was home to the Rothamsted Radar Entomology Unit (RREU), which continued the work of the former NRIRU programme. Research involved both harmonic radar and vertical-looking radar (VLR) and incorporated both technical development and entomological observations. Principal scientists involved: Joe Riley, Alan Smith, Jason Chapman, Juliet Osborne, Jason Lim, Andy Reynolds; Don Reynolds (NRI) was a long-term collaborator. This laboratory (then Rothamsted Experiment Station, RES) had been involved in radar entomology much earlier, when it endeavoured to develop an aphid monitoring radar in the early 1980s. Although an operational unit proved unachievable, this ambitious project laid much of the groundwork for the later development of VLRs. Principal scientist involved: Graham Bent.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS) research station at College Station, Texas, hosted one of the most active radar-entomology research programs in the world during the 1990s. Principal radar-entomology staff were Ken Beerwinkle, Paul Schleider, and Wayne Wolf (using entomological radars) and John Westbrook and Ritchie Eyster (“NEXRAD” weather surveillance radars). Radar entomology in USDA-ARS actually started in Phoenix, Arizona around 1978. This program was moved to a laboratory at Tifton, Georgia in 1980 and then in 1991 to College Station. ARS and Wayne Wolf were also involved in radar entomology as early as 1972 and 1973, in a collaboration with the US Navy’s Naval Electronics Laboratory Center in San Diego, California.

The former Division of Entomology of Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) had an active radar program for ~20 y from 1971, focussed on crop pests (locusts and a range of moth species), the biometeorology of insect migration, and methodological development. A parallel program sampled the migrants using nets on vehicles or carried aloft with kites and balloons. Observations were made with purpose-built scanning entomologial radars, including a unit designed specifically to study foraging and mating flights low over crops. The program was based in Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, but undertook fieldwork through much of eastern Australia. It was wound down in the early 1990s and the remaining capacity transferred to UNSW Canberra (see above). Principal scientists involved: Doug Clark (died ~1974), Jerry Roffey (UK, deceased), Derek Reid (CSIRO Division of Atmospheric Research, retired), Alistair Drake (now UNSW Canberra), Wayne Rochester, Roger Farrow (retired). There were collaborations with several Australian government crop-protection bodies, NRI (UK), and JAAS (China).

Cranfield University (formerly Cranfield Institute of Technology, CIT) at Cranfield, Bedfordshire, U.K. was the home of the group led by the late G.W. (Glen) Schaefer, radar entomology’s pioneer, until his death in 1986 (Rainey 1986). Principal scientists involved: Schaefer, Stephen Hobbs.

The Illinois Natural History Survey and the Illinois State Water Survey mounted an intensive insect-migration research program during the mid-1980s, employing (among a variety of techniques) the CHILL S-band radar and a tracking X-band radar maintained principally for ornithological observations. Principal scientists involved: Gary Achtemeier, Keith Hendrie, Mike Irwin, Ronald Larkin, Eugene Mueller.

The Department of Physics at Loughborough University (formerly Loughborough University of Technology) in Leicestershire, U.K., is where it all started. G.W. (Glen) Schaefer’s pioneering 1968 radar expedition to Niger started here, as did subsequent trips to Sudan, Australia, and Canada. All involvement in the field ceased in 1975 with Schaefer’s transfer to Cranfield Institute of Technology (see above). Principal scientists involved: the late G.W. Schaefer.

The Wallops Island, Virginia, laboratories of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center took an interest in the field in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Principal scientist involved: C.R. (Charles) Vaughn. Wallops Island radars earlier (around 1965) played a key role in establishing that insects were a prime source of “clear air echo”.

The Radar Entomology Unit of Britain’s Natural Resources Institute (NRIRU) was established around 1970 and was the leader in this field, with a fine record of technical innovation, productive fieldwork, and publication. NRIRU was based in Malvern, Worcestershire (separate from NRI’s main sites in London and, later, at Chatham Maritime, Kent). Principal radar-entomology staff: Don Reynolds (in London and Chatham Maritime), Joe Riley, Alan Smith, Ann Edwards. Reynolds continues his involvement through NRI at Chatham Maritime.

Radar entomology work at NRI originated around 1970 in a predecessor U.K.-government organisation, the Anti-Locust Research Centre (ALRC), which was based in London. After a series of organisational amalgamations and renamings, this program found itself in the Natural Resources Institute (NRI) from 1990. In 1996, NRI passed to the University of Greenwich and in 2001 the radar entomology programme was transferred to Rothamsted Research.

The Fort Monmouth, New Jersey, laboratories of the US Army Electronics Command (now CECOM) made observations of mosquitoes and other insects with US Army mortar-locating radars between 1969 and 1972. Principal scientist involved: E.L. (Emerson) Frost.

The US Army Research Laboratories at the White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico, observed insects with its FM/CW atmospheric boundary layer profiler during the early 1990s. Principal scientist involved: Scott A. McLaughlin.

The Department of Radioecology of the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences developed a harmonic radar for studying the walking movement of diode-tagged beetles during the mid-1980s. Principal scientists involved: Daniel Mascanzoni, Henrik Wallin (Department of Plant and Forest Protection).

Collaborating organisations

These organisations collaborate in radar entomology research but do not have a radar unit of their own.

Australian Plague Locust Commission (APLC), Canberra, Australia. An occasional collaborator with CSIRO, and a current collaborator with UNSW Canberra, on locust migration in Australia. Staff involved: Haikou Wang.

Department of Entomology, Nanjing Agricultural University (NAU), Nanjing, China. A collaboration with NRIRU used NRIRU’s centimetric and millimetric scanning entomological radars to observe brown planthopper migration in 1988, 1990, and 1991. Interest continues, with a current collaboration with University of Exeter. Principal scientists involved: Baoping Zhai, Gao Hu, Boya Gao.

The School of Biological and Chemical Sciences, Queen Mary University, London, UK has undertaken harmonic radar observations of honeybee and bumble bee behaviour in collaboration with Rothamsted Research. Principal scientists involved: Lars Chittka, Joseph Woodgate.

Organisations formerly involved as collaborators in radar entomology field campaigns

Agricultural Aviation Research Unit (AARU). A research laboratory of CIBA-Geigy (a major agrochemical company at that time), based at Cranfield, U.K. Under then director R.J.V. (Vernon) Joyce (died 1997), AARU supported the LUT (G.W. Schaefer-led) radar entomology program in its early days through its own observation program in the Sudan Gezira and by acting as principal contractor to CFS for observations of spruce budworm migration in New Brunswick (Canada).

Carl Hayden Bee Research Center (CHBRC), Tucson, Arizona. A collaborator with APMRU (and its predecessors) on bee flight.

Canadian Forest Service (CFS). A major collaborator, host, and client for LUT and AARU during the program of radar observations of spruce budworm migration between 1973 and 1976. Principal scientist involved: David Greenbank (deceased).

Desert Locust Control Organisation of East Africa (DLCOEA), Nairobi, Kenya. DLCOEA supported some very early initiatives in radar entomology, including the first attempt (1965) to construct a radar specifically for entomological observations (engineer: D. Taylor) – a project that was abandoned before completion of a prototype.

The founders and those who supported them

Drake & Reynolds (2012, pp. ix-x) identify two ‘founders’ of radar entomology (Glen Schaefer and Joe Riley) and four ‘supporters’: R.C. (Reg) Rainey and R.J.V. (Vernon) Joyce (both UK), D.F. (Doug) Waterhouse (Australia), and Ruilu Chen (China). To this latter group should be added Chester Himel (USA). Riley is included as a founder because he entered the field very soon after Schaefer’s demonstration of an effective entomological radar and developed it greatly over the following three decades. The four (now five) ‘supporters’ were senior scientists and research leaders who, often in the face of considerable scepticism from their peers, recognised the potential of radar for insect observation and both argued for funding and found an institutional home for an unusual and unfamiliar program. Later, Brian Kerry (UK) played a similarly crucial role in enabling the continuation of Riley’s program, through a transfer to Rothamsted Research, when it was faced with imminent closure. The backing of these figures, only one of whom (Chen) was directly involved in the research, was critical to the timely establishment of radar entomology and the generation of the many research findings that have resulted from it.

This page last updated 2022Jan17.