Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Tiny sensor used in smart phones could create urban seismic network

Date:
September 29, 2013
Source:
Seismological Society of America
Summary:
A tiny chip used in smart phones to adjust the orientation of the screen could serve to create a real-time urban seismic network, easily increasing the amount of strong motion data collected during a large earthquake.

A tiny chip used in smart phones to adjust the orientation of the screen could serve to create a real-time urban seismic network, easily increasing the amount of strong motion data collected during a large earthquake, according to a new study published in the October issue of the Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America (BSSA).

Micro-Electro-Mechanical System (MEMS) accelerometers measure the rate of acceleration of ground motion and vibration of cars, buildings and installations. In the 1990s MEMS accelerometers revolutionized the automotive airbag industry and are found in many devices used daily, including smart phones, video games and laptops.

Antonino D'Alessandro and Giuseppe D'Anna, both seismologists at Istituto Nazionale di Geosifica e Vulcanologia in Italy, tested whether inexpensive MEMS accelerometers could reliably and accurately detect ground motion caused by earthquakes. They tested the LIS331DLH MEMS accelerometer installed in the iPhone mobile phone, comparing it to the earthquake sensor EpiSensor ES-T force balance accelerometer produced by Kinemetrics Inc.

The tests suggest that the MEMS accelerometers can detect moderate to strong earthquakes (greater than magnitude 5) when located near the epicenter. The device produces sufficient noise to prevent it from accurately detecting lesser quakes -- a limitation to its use in monitoring strong motion.

D'Alessandro and D'Anna note that the technology is rapidly evolving, and there will soon be MEMS sensors that are sensitive to quakes less than magnitude 5. The real advantage, say the authors, is the widespread use of mobile phones and laptops that include MEMS technology, making it possible to dramatically increase coverage when strong earthquakes occur.

The current state of the MEMS sensors, suggest the authors, could be used for the creation of an urban seismic network that could transmit in real-time ground motion data to a central location for assessment. The rich volume of data could help first responders identify areas of greatest potential damage, allowing them to allocate resources more effectively.

The article, "Suitability of low-cost three-axis MEMS accelerometers in strong-motion seismology: tests on the LIS331DLH (iPhone) accelerometer," is published in October issue of BSSA.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Seismological Society of America. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Seismological Society of America. "Tiny sensor used in smart phones could create urban seismic network." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 September 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130929202752.htm>.
Seismological Society of America. (2013, September 29). Tiny sensor used in smart phones could create urban seismic network. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130929202752.htm
Seismological Society of America. "Tiny sensor used in smart phones could create urban seismic network." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130929202752.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Earth & Climate News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Visitors Feel Part of the Pack at Wolf Preserve

Visitors Feel Part of the Pack at Wolf Preserve

AP (July 31, 2014) Seacrest Wolf Preserve on the northern Florida panhandle allows more than 10,000 visitors each year to get up close and personal with Arctic and British Columbian Wolves. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers

Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers

AP (July 31, 2014) With Florida's panther population rebounding, some ranchers complain the protected predators are once again killing their calves. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Big Waves In Arctic Ocean Threaten Polar Ice

Big Waves In Arctic Ocean Threaten Polar Ice

Newsy (July 30, 2014) Big waves in parts of the Arctic Ocean are unprecedented, mainly because they used to be covered in ice. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle

Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle

AP (July 30, 2014) Thousands of people are trekking to a Bavarian farmer's field to check out a mysterious set of crop circles. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

    Technology News



      Save/Print:
      Share:

      Free Subscriptions


      Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

      Get Social & Mobile


      Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

      Have Feedback?


      Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
      Mobile: iPhone Android Web
      Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
      Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
      Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins