from the Pew-Pew dept.
For several decades there have been various incarnations of the idea of using lasers to zap flying insects, particularly mosquitoes. One of the systems in active development is the Photonic Fence from Intellectual Ventures Laboratory. Researchers from the laboratory recently published their findings on determining the optimal dosage to kill mosquitoes using the least amount of energy. One of the criticisms of their system has been that the areas in greatest need for mosquito eradication provide unreliable power, so their system would most likely need to operate by providing its own power.
Their research found that the optimal pulse duration for the lasers they are considering in their design is 25 ms. A significant difference between this research and their previous work is that this study was conducted on in-flight mosquitoes as opposed to previous work that used anesthetized specimens, which demonstrated their vision-based track and targeting system. An added bonus is the four slow-motion videos provided in the Supplemental Information section showing mosquitoes being zapped.
Keller, M.D., Norton, B.J., Farrar, D.J. et al. Optical tracking and laser-induced mortality of insects during flight, Sci Rep 10, 14795 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-71824-y