500 years ago, Renaissance designer, artist, and engineer, Leonardo Da Vinci once looked at birds to inspire his sketches of aircraft-like designs. Now, an engineer form the Georgia Institute of Technology is looking at another design from nature to gain insight into better designs for robots that could be used for surveillance or search and rescue. David Hu says he is studying the design of mosquitoes to understand how they can withstand the pounding of heavy rain. Hu says the insects thrive in windy and rainy regions and still manage to avoid raindrops in flight, though they are falling at nearly 20 miles per hour.
Early research indicates that though raindrops are about the same size as a mosquito, they weigh as much as 50 times more. Hu and the researchers are so interested because the equivalent on the scale of a human being would be the same as being hit by a car, which humans rarely survive. Other studies indicate raindrops might actually fall with the mosquitoes for several body lengths and then release. The net effect would be to join mass and transfer momentum in a way that was previously unknown. The authors wrote, “The mosquito’s low mass causes raindrops to lose little momentum upon impact and so impart correspondingly low forces to the mosquitoes.” --Jim L. Wilson and Jim Sandell.
--Study: Mosquitoes’ low mass lets them survive heavy rain, http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/2012/06/04/20120604study-mosquitoes-low-mass-survive-heavy-rain.html; June 4, 2012,
Psalm 19:1 GNB How clearly the sky reveals God's glory! How plainly it shows what he has done!