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NASA Testing GPS Monitoring System For Earthquake Warnings

After tracking space shuttle Discovery, a team of NASA is preparing for a new challenge. The team wants to have earthquake prediction. They are going to use the Global Positioning System (GPS) for this purpose.


The name of NASA’s GPS-monitoring system is called Real-time Earthquake Analysis for Disaster (READI) Mitigation Network. Right now, NASA is testing the system so that it can more accurately detect the scale of quakes, get tsunami warnings and inform as soon as possible. When a large earthquake is detected, GPS data is used to automatically calculate its vital characteristics including location, magnitude and details about the fault rupture.

“With the READI network we are enabling continued development of real-time GPS technologies to advance national and international early warning disaster systems,” said Craig Dobson, natural hazards program manager in the Earth Science Division at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “This prototype system is a significant step towards realizing the goal of providing Pacific basin-wide natural hazards capability around the Pacific ‘Ring of Fire.'”

“By using GPS to measure ground deformation from large earthquakes, we can reduce the time needed to locate and characterize the damage from large seismic events to several minutes,” said Yehuda Bock, director of Scripps Institution of Oceanography’s Orbit and Permanent Array Center in La Jolla, Calif. “We now are poised to fully test the prototype system this year.”

The new research network is being developed in support with the National Science Foundation, the Department of Defense, NASA, and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and in collaboration with Scripps at the University of California in San Diego; Central Washington University in Ellensburg; the University of Nevada in Reno; California Institute of Technology/Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena; UNAVCO in Boulder, Colo.; and the University of California at Berkeley.

As Japan is a country of frequent earthquakes this earth detecting GPS technology will play a significant role to save many human lives and precious assets when launched.

“Conventional seismic networks have consistently struggled to rapidly identify the true size of great earthquakes during the last decade,” said Timothy Melbourne, director of the Central Washington University’s Pacific Northwest Geodetic Array. “This GPS system is more likely to provide accurate and rapid estimates of the location and amount of fault slip to fire, utility, medical and other first-response teams.”

Source : NASA News Release

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