Google is one of the leading technology companies and it is no surprise that it uses its vast network of infrastructure to improve people’s quality of life. One of the most recent innovations is the ability to predict earthquakes up to 5 minutes in advance..
This is possible thanks to the 14 submarine fiber optic cables that Google owns around the world. These cables stretch for more than 69,590 miles, making them the world’s largest undersea communications network. In addition to transmitting data, these cables can also be used to measure the disturbances in light pulses that occur when there is an earthquake.
The technique used is called detection of terrestrial vibrations, and it consists of monitoring the speed of light pulses that travel through fiber optic cables.. When an earthquake occurs, seismic waves alter the environment and this affects the speed of the light pulses that propagate through the cables. This alteration is detected by Google’s measurement teams, which allows them to detect and predict an earthquake up to 5 minutes in advance.
This technique is not only more accurate than traditional earthquake detection systems, but it is also much faster.. Using Google’s fiber optic cable network, earthquake detection data can be transmitted and processed in real time, allowing citizens to be alerted early enough to take precautionary action.
Importantly, Google’s early earthquake detection technique through Google’s fiber optic submarine cables was first used in 2013. Since then, the company has been improving and refining the technology to make it more accurate and efficient.
In addition to measuring changes in the speed of light pulses, Google’s cables can also detect changes in their polarization.. Polarization is the orientation of the electromagnetic waves that propagate through the optical fiber. A change in polarization may indicate that an event associated with an earthquake has occurred.
An example of this occurred in January 2020, when one of Google’s undersea cableswhich was located almost 1,000 miles from Jamaica, detected a change in its polarization. Shortly after, a magnitude 7.7 earthquake struck. in the region. Although the epicenter of the quake was quite far from the undersea cable, Google’s measurement equipment was able to detect the change in polarization and alert local authorities.
This ability to detect changes in the polarization of fiber optic cables is another valuable tool for predicting earthquakes and protecting the population in the event of a natural disaster. AND With Google’s vast network of underwater infrastructure, earthquake early detection technology could be deployed around the world to help prevent tragedies and save lives..
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Source: La Opinion