Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering


Two insect traps (pheromone-baited cylindrical electric grid trap and Texas pheromone cone trap) and a flight mill designed for large insects were interfaced with the Rockwell AIM65 microcomputer. Three sensor devices were tested on the grid trap consisting of a voltage change and two sound-activated devices. An infrared sensor device was used for both the cone trap and flight mill;The sensors used on the grid trap counted well in the laboratory with counting errors of 8.44% for European corn borer (ECB), Ostrinia nubilalis (Hubner) and 26.93% for Black cutworm (BCW), Agrotis ipsilon (Hufnagel). But, only the voltage change device proved usable in the field as the two sound-activated devices also detected environmental noises that resulted in unrealistically higher counts. Laboratory tests of the infrared sensor device on the cone trap gave counting errors of 43.84% and 61.44% for ECB and BCW, respectively;Field tests of the voltage change device on the grid trap resulted in counting errors of 96.0% for ECB and 2.8% for BCW. Correspondingly, field tests of the infrared sensor device on the cone trap gave counting errors of 94.94% for ECB and 42.38% for BCW. The counting accuracy of the sensors when used for ECB was adversely affected by the entry of non-target insects into the traps that were present in the field at the time of the tests. The sensors could not distinguish between target and non-target insects;Two sizes of flight mills (1-m and 2-m circumference) and two types of tethers (rigid and semi-rigid) were designed and tested. Results of tests indicated that the 2-m circumference flight mill significantly improved the flight performance of laboratory-reared male BCW from 9.22 km at 2.13 km/h to 21.83 km at 3.46 km/h. The improvement in performance was attributed to the longer radius of curvature and lower angular velocity. No significant difference in performance was detected between the two types of tethers used. However, the semi-rigid tether was preferred for its flexibility and light weight. The semi-rigid tether allowed the insect to support its own weight and adjust to its normal flying attitude during flight.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Arsenio Natividad Resurreccion



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178 pages