The rise of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) has shaped a new technology landscape for mission critical applications like environmental monitoring, seismic monitoring, and oil and gas field applications. For many of these applications, data or communication failure could lead to catastrophic or costly results. Accurate and reliable data is needed in order to optimize operations and reduce risk. When industrially hardened Machine-to-Machine (M2M) technology is deployed within IIoT networks, it is possible to track critical data in real time. Today, some Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum (FHSS) devices can also enable more advanced data and analytics through third party applications.
According to the U.S. Geological Survey, there are an estimated 500,000 detectable earthquakes throughout the world each year, of which around 100,000 can be felt. Approximately 100 of those earthquakes cause damage. For seismic monitoring applications in particular, IIoT networks have helped establish monitoring and early warning systems around the world – especially in locations where earthquakes are common. The ability to pre-warn the people in harm’s way and implement preventative measures can potentially save countless lives.
Below are some locations throughout the world that are actively making seismic monitoring a priority by leveraging IIoT technology.
Seismic Monitoring in Ecuador
In Quito, Ecuador, the Instituto Geofísico [Institute of Geophysics of Ecuador] works to improve disaster preparedness and lessen the impact of seismic and volcanic events throughout Ecuador via constant monitoring, scientific research and technology that promotes the creation of a precautionary culture. With the help of the Red Nacional de Sismógrafos [National Seismograph Network] and the Red de Observatorios Volcánicos [National Volcano Observatories], the Institute is able to issue early warnings based on risk maps produced by scientists. With M2M communication devices serving as a critical component of the communication network and relentless dedication to seismic and volcanic monitoring, the Institute has helped warn hundreds of thousands of people early before major volcanic events.
Seismic Monitoring in New Zealand
The GEONET project in New Zealand leverages a network of geophysical instruments, automated software applications, and skilled staff work to detect, analyze and respond to earthquakes, volcanic activity, large landsides, tsunami, and the slow deformation that precedes large earthquakes. The network includes advanced control systems technology to help improve the integration and efficiency of modern manufacturing, industrial and mining applications. Its dedicated communication network helps facilitate seamless data flow throughout the systems and enables control system synergy.
Seismic Monitoring in Taiwan
Taiwan is very seismically active. A research institution in Taiwan is working to estimate major seismic faults in regions throughout Taiwan by leveraging data from remote continuous GPS reference stations where low power consumption, high data throughput and connectivity are critical for accurate data and analysis.
Seismic Monitoring in Southern California
In Southern California, researchers use a network of GPS-based earthquake monitors, with a series of FHSS-based communication devices for accurate and reliable data transmission. Network development is in its early stages but it will be used for an early warning system once completed.
This is a small sampling of locations around the world that are leveraging IIoT networks and technology to better protect citizens and reduce human casualties from earthquakes and other environmental disasters. Technology selection should be carefully considered in these types of networks and should only include the most reliable and robust options designed for industrial, mission critical, outdoor environments.