Meeting Abstract

119.1  Saturday, Jan. 7  Insects flying in the rain DICKERSON, A. K.*; SHANKLES, P; MADHAVAN, N; HU, D.L.; Georgia Institute of Technolofy; Georgia Institute of Technology; Georgia Institute of Technology; Georgia Institute of Technology

Mosquitoes thrive during rainfall and high humidity. If raindrops are 50 times heavier than mosquitoes, how do mosquitoes fly in the rain? In this combined experimental and theoretical study, we measure the impact force between a falling drop and a free-flying mosquito. High-speed videography of mosquitoes and custom-built mimics reveals a mosquito's low inertia renders it impervious to falling drops. Drops do not splash on mosquitoes, but simply push past them after impulsively acceleration the insect 30-300 gravities. Despite this large acceleration, mosquitoes are able to continue on their flight only briefly deterred. We rationalize the force imparted using scaling relations based on the time of rebound between a falling drop and a free body of significantly less mass.