Modulations in the light of the firefly
Continuous light could be produced from the firefly by making it inhale vapours of ethyl acetate. Here we perform such a control experiment on the Indian species of the firefly Luciola praeusta Kiesenwetter 1874 (Coleoptera : Lampyridae : Luciolinae), and analyse the light in the microsecond time scale. The amplitude of the continuous train of triangular pulses is apparently altered in accordance with the instantaneous values of a hypothetical signal, which exhibits pulse amplitude modulation (PAM). In addition to sampling in amplitude, this scheme apparently provides sampling in time, representing pulse width modulation (PWM). A Fourier transform spectrum of this waveform shows the `carrier’ frequency and the accompanying `side bands’.
Volume 46, 2021
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