Field evaluation of UAV-based tracking method for localization of small insects.
Small invasive insects cause a reduction or disappearance of native insects, causing biodiversity problems. Therefore, tracking small insects is emerging as a method for biodiversity protection and ecosystem management; studies using tracking techniques, such as harmonic radar, RFID, and radio telemetry, are being conducted. A system using a mobile vehicle and a mobile robot that enhances the mobility of the existing passive tracking is currently being studied. We confirmed that radio telemetry is suitable for tracking insects by comparing the communication distance, weight, and lifespan of the transmitter in our previous study and developed a UAV-based tracking method. In this study, we quantified the size of insects and conducted behavior, traceability, and field tests to verify the feasibility and performance of the developed system. We confirmed that the transmitter attachment did not affect the behavior of the insect, and the three-dimensional movement of the insect did not affect the tracking performance. Furthermore, the tracking experiment was successfully conducted in a real environment. Thus, we quantitatively evaluated the performance of the proposed system and suggested a method to trace small-sized insects.