Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Monitoring against another Pompeii

06.08.2008
A wimax-based connection to the internet will enable real-time monitoring of potentially dangerous active volcanoes.

For effective monitoring of volcanic activity, scientists want to know what is happening in real time, not the pattern of events last week. For many remote volcanoes, that has just not been possible. Now, a new system, intended to monitor activity around Mount Vesuvius in Italy and at volcanoes in Iceland, offers a major step forward in real-time communications.

In Iceland, scientists have been driving to their remote volcanic monitoring stations about once a week in order to download the data from the station hard disk and then returning to their laboratories to analyse it. The new monitoring system can deliver around 75 megabits of data remotely per second over a WiMAX wireless connection.

The WiMAX system offers a robust, high-quality connection. Transmitting rich data like this, it is very important not to lose any of it, suggests Enrico Argori, a leading researcher on the WEIRD project that developed the monitoring system. “WiMAX is the cheapest channel… to do this, and it is the channel that can deliver the best quality of service.”

The monitoring system does not swamp the airwaves with useless data. Only when significant activity occurs will the monitoring system communicate data. And critical transmissions can be protected from interference. Bandwidth can be reserved using a protocol called DIAMETER, that identifies data traffic and prioritises information from the volcanic monitoring centre to ensure communications are not blocked by lower-priority data traffic, such as messaging.

Though far from a new technology, the WEIRD research team has managed to extend WiMAX’s resilience and flexibility.

WEIRD agents on the job

The monitoring system includes a series of features that are important for the future integration of WiMAX with other wireless and telecommunications systems we use. The WEIRD team seamlessly integrated WiMAX with a range of other network technologies to enable high-quality, end-to-end communication, regardless of the route it takes.

WEIRD developed software that exploits the advantages of ‘next-generation networks’. NGNs layer information, decoupling the applications from the underlying transport stratum. Whatever the underlying network, the volcano monitoring signals will be relayed in full from end to end.

Not all applications are designed to run on next-generation networks. For these, the research team built a series of adaptors – known as WEIRD agents or WEIRD application programming interfaces – that allowed non-NGN applications to take advantage of the boosted quality of service and seamless mobility features of the wireless volcano-monitoring system.

WiMAX is being viewed more and more as a complementary, rather than competing, technology to existing wireless communication access channels, such as wifi and mobile telephony services. So, the successful seamless integration of WiMAX via ‘media-independent handover’ is an important step forward.

Pan, zoom… trouble

An important feature of WEIRD’s monitoring system is not that it is technically possible but that it can be practically applied by non-communications specialists.

Software was developed that hides the complexity of the configuration of end-to-end communication channels, whatever the different equipment or different versions of WiMAX used. It means that a member of the monitoring team can quickly and easily establish an end-to-end communication path without specialist training, allowing them to concentrate on what is vitally important at the time – their monitoring job.

Bi-directionality was also tested in this setting, meaning that the volcano monitors can pan or zoom onto a potential trouble spot with the remote cameras, as well as receive signals from them.

“The main part of our work is to make it easy for end-users [to benefit] from new technologies like WiMAX,” explains another member of the WEIRD research team, Giuseppe Martufi.

WEIRD received funding from the EU's Sixth Framework Programme for research.

This is one of a series of three articles on the WEIRD project. See also 'Putting a virtual doctor in the ambulance' and 'Spotting tomorrow's forest fires'

Christian Nielsen | alfa
Further information:
http://cordis.europa.eu/ictresults/

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht Equipping form with function
23.06.2017 | Institute of Science and Technology Austria

nachricht Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity
23.06.2017 | Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V.

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Quantum thermometer or optical refrigerator?

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A 100-year-old physics problem has been solved at EPFL

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Equipping form with function

23.06.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>