【“龙蛋”通过无人机降落到火山中心,帮助科学家更精确地监测火山喷发】

【“龙蛋”通过无人机降落到火山中心,帮助科学家更精确地监测火山喷发】科学家们透露,用无人驾驶飞机将“龙蛋”放入火山中心,可以更精确地监测火山爆发的线索。这种极端、危险和不可预测的环境对可靠地记录火山行为提出了非常困难的挑战,人类如果离得太近而手动进行读数就太危险了。然而,科学家已经解决了这个问题,创造了高度敏感的“龙蛋”,它可以定位在危险的地点,以提供火山喷发的实时数据。该装置还可以监测其他自然现象,如冰川、地质断层和核废料储存场所等。

'Dragon eggs' lowered into the heart of volcanoes using drones could help monitor for clues of future eruptions with more precision, scientists have revealed.

Such extreme, hazardous and unpredictable environments present a very difficult challenge to reliably record volcanic behaviour.

For some volcanoes, it is simply too dangerous for humans to get close enough to take readings manually.

However, scientists have got around this problem by creating highly sensitive pods that can be positioned in dangerous locations to provide real-time data on eruptions.

Dubbed 'dragon eggs', scientists say these devices could also monitor other natural phenomenon such as glaciers, geological faults and man-made hazards such as nuclear waste storage sites.

Scroll down for video

Pictured is the drone sat alongside the silver 'dragon eggs' at the top of the Stromboli volcano in Italy. Scientists say they could also monitor other natural phenomenon such as glaciers, geological faults and man-made hazards such as nuclear waste storage sites

Pictured is the drone sat alongside the silver 'dragon eggs' at the top of the Stromboli volcano in Italy. Scientists say they could also monitor other natural phenomenon such as glaciers, geological faults and man-made hazards such as nuclear waste storage sites

The 'dragon eggs' currently being developed by the University of Bristol are autonomous sensor pods designed to monitor volcanic activity.

They are being equipped with a range of sensors for temperature, humidity, vibrations, and numerous toxic gases.

The eggs are tough enough to operate in the extreme conditions of a volcano, light enough to be carried by a drone and ultra-efficient in power consumption.

The pods have 'sensor-driven' detectors.

This allows the eggs to remain dormant for prolonged periods of time, preserving power, until volcanic activity is detected.

At this point the dragon egg 'hatches' into a full-featured remote monitoring station with a wireless transmitter.

The event detectors have the lowest stand-by power consumption in the world.

They can be activated by pulses as low as 5 picojoules (which is about 100,000 times less than the energy released if a fruit fly collides with you).

Therefore, sensor-driven detectors do not require battery power to remain operational, and instead use a fraction of the energy contained in the sensor signals.

For some volcanoes it is simply too dangerous for a human approach (stock image). However, scientists have got around this problem by creating highly sensitive pods that can be positioned in dangerous locations to provide real-time data on eruptions

Thanks to this detection circuit, the eggs can remain in service for many months without depleting their energy resources.

The dragon eggs can report data to a base station at a safe distance of up to 10km (six miles).

'It is the first time an autonomous system using zero-power listening technology has been deployed in this kind of hostile environment', said Dr Yannick Verbelen, Research Associate in the School of Physics.

'We are pushing the limits of the sensor driven low-power monitoring in this application, but that's what research is all about.'

Due to the extreme conditions near the volcanic vents, the 'dragon eggs' are designed to be deployed by flying Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs).

'This is an exemplary application for using UAVs (drones)', said Dr Kieran Wood, Senior Research Associate and UAV specialist in Aerospace Engineering.

'Approaching volcanoes is hazardous and logistically challenging. UAVs can efficiently place sensors at long-range to minimise risk and improve the efficiency of data collection', he said.

HOW CAN RESEARCHERS PREDICT VOLCANIC ERUPTIONS?

According to Eric Dunham, an associate professor of Stanford University's School of Earth, energy and Environmental Sciences, 'Volcanoes are complicated and there is currently no universally applicable means of predicting eruption. In all likelihood, there never will be.'

However, there are indicators of increased volcanic activity, which researchers can use to help predict volcanic eruptions.

Researchers can track indicators such as:

  • Volcanic infrasound: When the lava lake rises up in the crater of an open vent volcano, a sign of a potential eruption, the pitch or frequency of the sounds generated by the magma tends to increase.
  • Seismic activity: Ahead of an eruption, seismic activity in the form of small earthquakes and tremors almost always increases as magma moves through the volcano's 'plumbing system'.
  • Gas emissions: As magma nears the surface and pressure decreases, gases escape. Sulfur dioxide is one of the main components of volcanic gases, and increasing amounts of it are a sign of increasing amounts of magma near the surface of a volcano.
  • Ground deformation: Changes to a volcano's ground surface (volcano deformation) appear as swelling, sinking, or cracking, which can be caused by magma, gas, or other fluids (usually water) moving underground or by movements in the Earth's crust due to motion along fault lines. Swelling of a volcano cans signal that magma has accumulated near the surface.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-6160251/Dragon-eggs-lowered-volcanoes-help-scientists-monitor-clues-future-eruptions.html


Comments are closed.



无觅相关文章插件