Have you ever wondered how mosquitoes fly in the dark? And why don't they stumble upon trees and walls? After all, the organs of vision or echolocation, like bats, these insects of the diptera do not use. Researchers at the University of Leeds in the UK understood the mechanism of “night vision” of mosquitoes, calling it an “aerodynamic image,” Science writes.
Insects in the dark use streams of air created by the flapping of their own wings. The jets of air change pressure and speed when an obstacle appears in front, and the mosquito feels these changes thanks to Johnston's organ - a set of receptors at the base of the “antennas” on the head. The maximum distance that a mosquito can “feel” is about 20 lengths of its wings. It was previously believed that this spatial gap is smaller.
Scientists have created a mechanical analog of the mechanism - a set of probes and sensors that record pressure drops. The development is inexpensive and reliable, it can be used on drones. The tests of the new system fixed to the drone were successful, the aircraft detected obstacles in the dark and circled them.