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Use Your Hard Disk Drive to Detect Tsunami Via P2P Network

by Shivaranjan on September 7, 2006


So folks from today you can have tsunami detector right at your home using your computer; all you need to make your tsunami detector is: hard disk drive, a computer, internet connection and tsunami detection software.

The tsunami detector here is your hard disk drive which continuously monitors vibrations in order to keep the read-write head of the disk on track. The tsunami detection software reads these data and shares the same with other computers via P2P network in which this software is installed. I am not sure about the accuracy of this tsunami detection but there is nothing to loose in trying it out as it is a freeware. I wish such detection system could have been there when the deadly tsunami struck Asia pacific on December 26, 2004 and caused massive loss of life and property.

Working of this Tsunami Detection System:
Tusnamis are generated by earthquakes, volcanic eruptions or large meteorite impacts. These initial events cause seismic waves which can be sensed by the fragile components of computer harddisks. Seismic waves travel with about 5000 km/h, while tsunamis travel much slower with a speed of 500-1000 km/h through water. This gives time for a tsunami forecast to be made and warnings to be issued to threatened areas, if warranted.

The Tsunami Harddisk Detector is a small software client installed on your computer which continuously monitors the vibration of the internal components of your harddisk . Since they are extremely fragile, they react to any accelerations of the computer, including those that originate from earthquakes. Different technical strategies are currently under investigation to measure the vibrations. For best performance, the computer with its harddisk should be fastened to the ground.

One computer is not enough to identify the epicenter of an earthquake. However, a small number of networked computers can locate the epicenter, measure the intensity and estimate the risk of a tsunami. To this end, the computers are connected via a P2P network. To organize the communication within the network, it consists of many nodes (which perform sensing) and a few supernodes (which perform signal processing). In particular, the supernodes perform two tasks:
locate the epicenter based on the time lag and intensity of the event
remove ‘signal noise’. Noise is generated by events that shake the harddisk, but can not cause a tsunami (e.g. a user kicks his computer). The supernode can detect this noise because it is improbable that many users kick their computer simultaneously.

In order to be able to locate the epicenter, each node must know exactly where it stands on earth. Therefore, the longitude and latitude as well as the orientation must be entered when the software is started the first time. This data can be obtained from an attached GPS-mouse or from www.gpsvisualizer.com.

The sofware can be downloaded from here.

Via Infoworld News

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