Patent granted for invention of Alternate Energy Light Trap
Monitoring insects in light traps enable the farmers to know the types of insects lurk in the field and whether or not they are at a manageable level. Once the insect population in the light traps crosses economic threshold level (ETL), the farmers can decide the type of pest management practices they have to undertake. Nature provides a multitude of benefits to humans in the form of natural control of insect pests by their natural enemies. However, the intensification of agricultural production system in recent decades has led to a decline and loss of biodiversity due to increasing use of chemical pesticides. So, to reduce the indiscriminate use of chemical insecticides in the agricultural, horticultural and other crops, an advanced Solar based Alternate Energy Light trap (AELT) was invented by Dr. Shyamaranjan Das Mohapatra, Principal Scientist (Entomology) and Dr (Mrs) Mayabini Jena, Former Principal Scientist & Head of Crop Protection Division of ICAR-National Rice Research Institute, Cuttack and a patent application No. 341/KOL/2014 was filed by the institute in March 18, 2014. The AELT device traps several flying insects in the crop fields utilizing solar powered system (to lit the lamp at night) which is the first of its kind in India for which the patent has been granted on February 8, 2021 with Patent No. 357993.
The AELT includes a light trap unit for attracting the flying insects; a collector unit coupled to the light trap unit for receiving the trapped insects from the light trap. A funnel is fitted to direct lured insects into the insect collecting unit. Funnel supports three baffles which are joined at the top. A hook has been provided at the top portion to install the light trap in the crop fields. Above the light trap unit, a solar panel is fitted for charging a battery which supplies required power to light trap unit. The collection unit is having two chambers separated by a mesh with big size holes to separate the tiny insects (mostly beneficial insects) and in the bottom a cap is provided for opening and closing the chamber. The collector unit further comprises of a vibration assembly, which has a controller; and a sensor coupled to the controller to transmit a first signal to the controller for vibrating the mesh. Once, the mesh will start vibrating, the tiny beneficial insects will fall down and collected in the second chamber. The tiny non-target insects mostly natural enemies trapped so can easily be escaped to the crop environment. The facility of escaping of non-target/natural enemies from the main insect collection unit is a desirable attribute for biointensive approach of pest management. The light trap unit is also provided with sensor which will automatically get lighted during twilight and switched off after three to four hours as per time set by user in the timer. A higher capacity battery has been fitted with the device to store and operate the device even in the cloudy and foggy weather. The battery can store sufficient power on full charged condition to supply required power to the unit to run for four to five days. It is a cost effective as it will run on solar power, besides being portable. The device is easily dismantled and stored when not in use. This automated AELT is an economic and eco-friendly insect trapping device which is easy-to-use and low maintenance, helps in handling insects in large number very efficiently there by reducing the operational cost.