IBM has developed a MEMS-based natural disaster warning system using analytics to improve the effectiveness and timeliness of post-event rescue efforts. The technology features a way to predict the location and timing of subsequent catastrophic events.
According to IBM, the system conducts post-event analysis of seismic events, such as earthquakes, and provides early warnings for tsunamis, which can follow earthquakes. It also provides the ability to rapidly measure and analyze the damage zone of an earthquake and thus help prioritize emergency response needed following an earthquake, IBM said.
The warning system uses data generated by vibration sensors (MEMS accelerometers) within computer hard disk drives to analyze and assess information generated by seismic events. This technique works by collecting hard drive sensor data and transmitting it via high-speed networking to a data processing center, which analyzes the data, classifies the events, and enriches the data in real time.
IBM says that the rapid analysis of the data leads to determining exactly when a seismic event started, how long it lasted, its intensity, the frequency of motion of the seismic event, the direction of motion of the seismic event, and other data. This information is then delivered to local, state and federal emergency response officials.