Early detection of red palm weevil using distributed optical sensor

Islam Ashry, Yuan Mao, Yousef Al-Fehaid, Abdulmoneim Al-Shawaf, Mansour Al-Bagshi, Salman Al-Brahim, Tien Khee Ng, Boon S. Ooi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Red palm weevil (RPW) poses a serious threat to the cultivation of date palms. It is considered to be the most destructive epidemic pest of palms, responsible for massive economic losses worldwide. Curative methods for RPW are not difficult to apply; however, the early detection of the pest remains a great challenge. Although several detection techniques have been implemented for the early detection of RPW, none of these methods have been proven to be reliable. Here, we use an optical-fiber-distributed acoustic sensor (DAS) as a paradigm shift technology for the early detection of RPW. Our sensitive sensor shows a detection of feeding sound produced by larvae as young as 12 days, in an infested tree. In comparison with existing, commonly-used technologies, this novel sensing technique represents a cost-effective and non-invasive alternative that could provide 24-7, real-time monitoring of 1,000 palm trees or even more. It could also monitor the temperature, an essential feature to control farm fires, another major problem for the cultivation of palm trees around the world.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 21 2020


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