NASA develops natural hazard warning systems

NASA develops natural hazard warning systems

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US: Scientists at NASA”s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, and Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego have enhanced existing GPS technologies to develop new systems for California and elsewhere to warn of hazards from earthquakes, tsunamis and extreme weather events. The technology was first used to track a summer monsoon rain event affecting Southern California and issue more accurate and timely flash flood warnings. The system uses real-time information from GPS stations upgraded with small, inexpensive seismic and meteorological sensors.

The technology is based on an optimal combination of GPS, accelerometer, pressure and temperature data, collected in real time at many locations throughout Southern California and on large engineered structures (e.g., tall buildings, hospitals and bridges) for focused studies of health and damage. Data products include accurate measurements of permanent motions (displacements) of ground stations and instruments deployed on structures, which form the basis for early detection of sustained damage; and measurements of precipitable water in the lower atmosphere, a determining factor in short-term weather forecasting. The combination of sensors significantly improves current seismic and meteorological practices.

Source: JPL NASA