Google works on a lot of things to make this world a better place. A part of it is Google’s own planning to smart disaster management. As a disaster management initiative, Google has been conducting an experiment that uses fiber optic cables to detect earthquakes and tsunamis. Now CEO Sundar Pichai took some time to share the results of the experiment.
Google is Building World’s Best Earthquake-Tsunami Tech
Sundar Pichai says that the results from the experiment shows that their disaster warning system is much faster than the pre-existing ones.
Sundar Pichai took his Twitter to share some details that how their warning system uses existing fiber cables to detect disturbances on the seafloor. Google says, that this new warning system does not require any new equipment and it is broadly applicable to the millions of kilometers of fiber optic networks that are spread around the world.
This new technique will help to detect the earthquakes and tsunamis much quicker and thus prevent a very big loss of lives at an early stage.
In a recent blog, Google also explains how this new warning system uses data obtained from the undersea fiber cables(or “submarine cables”) is used to provide warning of seismic activities on the seabed.
The signals travel long distances through these fiber cables and get distorted, these distortions are corrected by digital signal processing. Now the important thing that is tracked during this process is the state of polarization(SOP). Interestingly, Google says that it tracks the changes in SOP caused by mechanical disturbances to detect seismic activity on the seabed.
Dr. Zhongwen Zhan of the California Institute of Technology Seismological Laboratory looked through the data collected in the experiment. Dr. Zhan found out that the technology can also detect “pressure changes in the ocean itself, which could help predict tsunamis,” along with detection on seismic movements.
There is a very big advantage of this system as now the detection of speed for any wave is just about a matter of seconds which is not the case with existing equipment as it is limited by the speed of traveling wave- “a maximum of 800 km per hour for a deep sea wave”.
Google made it clear that the results are just, “a first demonstration, not a working system.” There’s a lot of work to be done on this new system. Also once it is successfully implemented, it will not replace the dedicated seismic sensors but the new technology will be a complimentary help towards better disaster management techniques.
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