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Forensics ferret out fire beetle secret
Date:5/23/2012

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According to the math, the beetle sensor is incredibly sensitive

The result was amazing. "According to our calculations, the infrared sensors of Melanophila beetles should be able to sense signals even if they are below the level of thermal noise," reported Dr. Bousack. Obviously, the beetles rely on stochastic resonance. "This method enables them to detect weak periodic signals that are normally superimposed by the noise," explained the engineer. According to the results of the calculations, the sensors can detect the tiniest amounts of heat - roughly comparable to the energy resolution of radio telescopes. "Our simulations and calculations make it seem quite probable that the IF sensors of pyrophilous Melanophila beetles are more sensitive than uncooled infrared sensors currently available in the market," Prof. Schmitz summarized the outcome. "Additional efforts to implement this natural prototype technologically will be required." So, they might be able to revolutionize early-warning systems for forest fires.


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Contact: Prof. Dr. Helmut Schmitz
h.schmitz@uni-bonn.de
49-228-732-071
University of Bonn
Source:Eurekalert

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