Government Technology

Personal Computers Map, Track Earthquakes Using Motion Sensors


Damaged road, Northridge Earthquake/Photo courtesy of FEMA
Damaged road, Northridge Earthquake

May 3, 2010 By

In Chile, Andres Sepulveda never saw the magnitude 8.8 earthquake coming in February, but his laptop captured the data during the catastrophe.

As an assistant professor at the University of Concepción, Sepulveda studies oceanography. But in January, just before he left for a vacation, he installed on his five-year-old laptop a USB motion sensor device. It's part of an expanding seismic network, which has the potential to send warnings, save lives and bolster public safety efforts when an earthquake strikes. Called the Quake-Catcher Network (QCN), the project uses inexpensive motion sensors in volunteers' computers to collect real-time earthquake data.

"I had this instrument as part of scientific curiosity," Sepulveda said. "Chile is a seismic country so I had the idea it could get something while I was away. It was just a test, so I left it on top of a box on the floor of my office. And then the earthquake happened."

Four years in the making, the QCN was developed by California university researchers to fill gaps in current earthquake monitoring efforts, hampered by 10- to 15-second reporting delays and costly equipment.

By forming a global web of seismic sensors that captures data on the spot, the network can be the key to an earthquake early warning system.

To read the story by Emergency Management magazine, click here.

 


| More

Comments

Add Your Comment

You are solely responsible for the content of your comments. We reserve the right to remove comments that are considered profane, vulgar, obscene, factually inaccurate, off-topic, or considered a personal attack.

In Our Library

White Papers | Exclusives Reports | Webinar Archives | Best Practices and Case Studies
Fresh Ideas In Online Security for Public Safety Organizations
Lesley Carhart, Senior Information Security Specialist at Motorola Solutions, knows that online and computer security are more challenging than ever. Personal smartphones, removable devices like USB storage drives, and social media have a significant impact on security. In “Fresh Ideas in Online Security for Public Safely Organizations,” Lesley provides recommendations to improve your online security against threats from social networks, removable devices, weak passwords and digital photos.
Meeting Constituents Where They Are With Dynamic, Real-Time Mobile Engagement
Leveraging the proven and open Kofax Mobile Capture Platform, organizations can rapidly integrate powerful mobile engagement solutions across the spectrum of mobile image capture, mobile data capture and complete mobile process integration. Kofax differentiates itself by extending capture to mobility, supporting multiple points of constituent engagement. Kofax solutions dynamically orchestrate the user’s mobile experience from a single platform—reducing time to market, improving process perf
Public Safety 2019
Motorola conducted an industry survey on the latest trends in public safety communications. The results provide an outlook of what technology is in store for your agency in the next five years. Download the results to gain this valuable insight.
View All

Featured Papers