The Chilean researcher Dr. Marcelo Soto from the Advanced Center for Electrical and Electronic Engineering, AC3E from UTFSM, developed a technology able to detect natural phenomena such as earthquakes or tsunamis Tens of kilometers into the ocean through distributed fiber optic sensors using underwater telecommunications cables and artificial intelligence tools. Thanks to the ability to measure a seismic wave or a tsunami wave in places closer to its origin, for example in the middle of oceans, these are distributed sensors would enable the generation of early warnings with greater foresight and precision.
On Friday, September 8, the researcher completed the project Fondef ID20I10089 “Prototype of fiber-optic distributed acoustic sensor for monitoring and early detection of seismic movements using artificial intelligence tools,” attended by students, industry representatives and the National Seismological Center.
Unlike a traditional seismological network, whose seismic stations are several kilometers apart, distributed acoustic sensor (DAS) technology allows monitoring the propagation of seismic waves with spatial resolutions of a few meters. This allows obtaining unique information that cannot be obtained using traditional instruments.
“The successful tests of this technology were carried out on the 10,500 km Curie submarine cable connecting Los Angeles, USA, to Valparaíso, with a DAS sensor configured to monitor the first 45 km off the coast of Valparaíso. Within 4 days of measurements, several earthquakes were detected, whose epicenters were up to 400 km away from the optical cable. The results provided scientific validation for the use of already installed fiber optic cables for communications and seismic measurements. and recognized its feasibility for automatic earthquake detection using artificial intelligence tools,” the scientist emphasized.
The conclusions of this test included the good quality of the seismic wave measurements for low intensity events, the acquisition of images of the acoustic field of the mechanical disturbance, and the estimation of the epicenter.
This technology can be used to measure vibrations caused by a variety of phenomena, such as monitoring road structures, rail traffic (tracks, position of trains and detection of possible collapses) and the condition of structures such as buildings or tunnels. and monitoring mechanical structures such as wind turbine propellers.
“The results of the research show a Versatility and impact that will undoubtedly provide valuable information of great use to both authorities and decision-makers. but also for society by issuing warnings to be prepared for natural disasters and also to avoid accidents in the transport system or in buildings,” said Dr. Soto.