Case Study

High Speed Digital Cameras Capture Flight of the Hawk Moth

Source: Vision Research, Inc.

Hawk Moths can fly at speeds of up to 30 mph and can flap their wings at 20 mph, even when hovering. Their size and speed results in them often being mistaken for a hummingbird. When the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Department of Biology set out to study the wing flapping patterns of the Hawk Moth, a wide selection of high speed digital cameras were tested to determine which would work best. Three factors were considered when selecting which high speed digital cameras to use. The cameras needed to be easy to control, reliable in a multi-camera configuration, and most importantly, had to capture accurate results in the right conditions.

Three Vision Research Phantom digital high speed cameras were selected for this project. This Case Study offers background information on the project, the implementation of the high speed cameras, and the results of the study.