Bees are the most important pollinator; therefore, plans for their conservation requires an understanding of the dynamics and the spatial scale of scavenging in order to determine their needs in terms of nesting sites and food plants. Nowadays, radar has started to play a valuable role in entomology for investigating the behavior of airborne insects beyond visible range, and enabling direct observation of insects without disturbing their natural behavior.
However, target identification and classification to discriminate between species of airborne insects has always been a challenge in entomological radar applications. In these applications, the interaction of radio waves with these insects introduces radar scatterings which are characterized by their radar cross section (RCS). Existing knowledge of RCS of insect species and how it varied with the aspect they presented to the radar are still inadequate for establishing a radar classification scheme. Acquiring quality RCS information for airborne insects through experimental measurements is a tedious process that requires a considerable amount of care and effort. It is often report measurements at select wavelengths or polarizations and viewing angles. Furthermore, these measurements typically do not provide information over all aspect angles in azimuth and elevation, and consequently, limiting their generality in entomological radar applications.
This thesis addresses these issues by demonstrating the capability of the computational electromagnetic tools to predict the radar scattering characteristics of aerial insects, a Honeybee worker (i.e. Apis Mellifera) in this case, and investigate their dependence of the RCS at multiple wavelengths or polarizations and viewing angles. Prior knowledge of dielectric properties of the honeybee was required to reliably predict radar scattering characteristics of the modeled honeybee. An experimental technique is used to measure the dielectric properties of the Honeybee worker (i.e. Apis Mellifera) at a frequency range from 8.
2 GHz to 12.4 GHz (X-band) at room temperature. A laboratory measurement of the backscattering cross section of the honeybee is performed and compared with the numerical electromagnetic model results.