Detection of Red Palm Weevil Infested Date-palm Trees using Dielectric Measurements

Project: Research

Project Details


In Saudi Arabia, the date palm trees are widely cultivated for 300 types of date fruits. There are almost 25 million palm trees that produce around 1.1 million tons of date [1]. But in recent years, this Middle Eastern heritage is threatened by the infestation of a virulent pest known as red palm weevils (RPWs). So, early detection of RPW infestation is essential to avoid serious economic consequences and safety hazards. Popular methods of detecting infested date trees includes; visual inspection, thermal imaging, chemical and acoustic detection. Visual and chemical methods are prone to human errors and can only detect advanced stage of infestation. Thermal and acoustic methods uses a scientific process for early detection of the infestation, but are influenced by the thermal and acoustic noises present in the environment. In this research work, the change in the dielectric properties of the tree due to RPW infestation will be studied. Due to the difference in the dielectric constants of the date tree (healthy/damaged) and the red palm weevil (larva/pupa/adult), two techniques are proposed to monitor the infestation. The 1st technique will use low frequency signal to experimentally monitor the tree capacitance to determine medium to advance stage of infestation. The 2nd technique will involve a relatively expensive microwave sensor for detecting initial stage of infestation. Simulated results related to microwave scattering from different stages of infestation will be analyzed and experimentally verified. In recent years, researchers are mostly focused on new techniques to treat RPW infested trees. The Food and Agriculture Organisation of United Nations (IPPC-FAO-UN) has recently recognized microwave-heating as a valid technique to treat/eradicate RPW infestation. The results of this work may introduce a microwave based early detection technique, which may result in an integrated nonintrusive pest management system.
Effective start/end date1/04/181/04/19


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