August 27, 2012
Want To Host A Seismograph In Your Home? Become A NetQuaker
Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online
As this weekend's earthquakes still captivate the headlines, a new program is emerging that implores citizens to act as scientists to try and predict the next big quake.
The program, called NetQuakes, is a crowdsourcing earthquake-monitoring program where ordinary people volunteer to help monitor quakes.
The grassroots movement uses volunteers to act as hosts for one of the program's blue seismometers.
The program will see that an intricate network of data is formed to help scientists, emergency experts and the general public become more aware of the dangers involved with earthquakes.
USGS developed a new type of digital seismograph that communicates its data to the government agency through the Internet.
"The seismographs connect to a local network via WiFi and use existing broadband connections to transmit data after an earthquake," the USGS explained on its website. "The instruments are designed to be installed in private homes, businesses, public buildings and schools with an existing broadband connection to the internet."
The agency said that it will be deploying many of these seismographs in urban areas over the next several years.
People willing to volunteer and offer up their backyard to one of these machines can submit their name and addresses to the USGS. The agency will help place the seismographs in the "most effective locations."
The seismograph will transmit data only after earthquakes greater than magnitude 3 occur, meaning the equipment will not be taking up much bandwidth on your home network.