Unlike a traditional seismological network, whose seismic stations are several kilometers apart, distributed acoustic sensor technology (THAT: distributed acoustic sensors) allows monitoring the propagation of seismic waves with spatial resolutions of a few meters, allowing the obtaining of unique information that cannot be obtained with conventional 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 of the use of already installed fiber optic cables for communications and seismic measurements and demonstrated their feasibility for automatic earthquake detection using artificial intelligence tools.”, emphasized the academic.
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 benefit both to authorities and decision-makers, as well as to society, providing warnings to be prepared for natural disasters and avoid accidents in the transport system or in buildings,” said Dr. Soto.