Tag Archives: global positioning system

Eight Seconds of Terror

A JPL Scientist Reflects on L.A.’s Last Big Quake

Twenty years ago this week, in the predawn darkness of Jan. 17, 1994, at five seconds before 4:31 a.m. PST, the ground ruptured violently on a blind thrust fault (a crack in Earth’s crust that does not reach the surface) about 11 miles (18 kilometers) beneath Reseda, in California’s San Fernando Valley about 20 miles (31 kilometers) northwest of downtown Los Angeles. The resulting magnitude 6.7 earthquake, known as the Northridge earthquake, became the first large quake to strike directly under an urban area in the United States since the 1933 magnitude 6.4 earthquake in Long Beach, Calif. (more…)

Read More

Flying Test Bed: New Aerial Platform Supports Development of Lightweight Sensors for UAVs

A research team at the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) is developing an airborne testing capability for sensors, communications devices and other airborne payloads. This aerial test bed, called the GTRI Airborne Unmanned Sensor System (GAUSS), is based on an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) made by Griffon Aerospace and modified by GTRI.

“Developing new sensor technologies that can be effectively employed from the air is a priority today given the rapidly increasing use of unmanned aircraft,” said Michael Brinkmann, a GTRI principal research engineer who is leading the work. “Given suitable technology, small UAVs can perform complex, low-altitude missions effectively and at lower cost. The GAUSS system gives GTRI and its customers the ability to develop and test new airborne payloads in a rapid, cost effective way.” (more…)

Read More

New Media Driving Occupy Movement, Prof Says

Lacking structured leadership, a single spokesperson and even a clear message, the Occupy movement has grown through the use of personal media and new technologies, sustained by participants’ own network of contacts and willingness to dive into the political fray, says a UCLA information studies professor who studies the different ways media and technology shape society and culture.

Throughout the life of the Occupy movement, dynamic social and technological factors have helped shape the character and effect of demonstrations and fueled the coverage the movement has received in the mainstream press. And Professor Leah A. Lievrouw sees the day-to-day use of mobile devices as a defining element of Occupy’s activism that has helped organizers gain momentum and support as well as ignite social, cultural and economic change. (more…)

Read More

Some Earthquakes Expected Along Rio Grande Rift in Colorado And New Mexico, New Study Says

The Rio Grande Rift, a thinning and stretching of Earth’s surface that extends from Colorado’s central Rocky Mountains to Mexico, is not dead but geologically alive and active, according to a new study involving scientists from the University of Colorado Boulder’s Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences.

“We don’t expect to see a lot of earthquakes, or big ones, but we will have some earthquakes,” said CU-Boulder geological sciences Professor Anne Sheehan, also a fellow at CIRES. The study also involved collaborators from the University of New Mexico, New Mexico Tech, Utah State University and the Boulder-headquartered UNAVCO. The Rio Grande Rift follows the path of the Rio Grande River from central Colorado roughly to El Paso before turning southeast toward the Gulf of Mexico. (more…)

Read More

NASA Research Confirms it’s a Small World, After All

A NASA-led research team has confirmed what Walt Disney told us all along: Earth really is a small world, after all.

Since Charles Darwin’s time, scientists have speculated that the solid Earth might be expanding or contracting. That was the prevailing belief, until scientists developed the theory of plate tectonics, which explained the large-scale motions of Earth’s lithosphere, or outermost shell. Even with the acceptance of plate tectonics half a century ago, some Earth and space scientists have continued to speculate on Earth’s possible expansion or contraction on various scientific grounds.

Now a new NASA study, published recently in Geophysical Research Letters, has essentially laid those speculations to rest. Using a cadre of space measurement tools and a new data calculation technique, the team detected no statistically significant expansion of the solid Earth. (more…)

Read More

Mastering Disaster: Students Create Software to Save Lives

*At the Imagine Cup 2011 Worldwide Finals, dozens of student teams showcase software projects that in some cases are already improving disaster relief efforts.*

REDMOND, Wash. – July 7, 2011 – When floodwaters swept across northern Thailand last fall, Kriangkrai Pipatvilaikul knew he had to help. So he boarded a bus with fellow students from Chulalongkorn University and went to a devastated village he had seen on TV.

The students joined scores of volunteers arriving at the same village with food, water and medical supplies. As they helped with the relief effort, the group heard about a harder hit area, one that hadn’t made the news, and they decided to push on. What they found shocked them. As they paddled through the submerged town, desperate villagers surrounded their boat and tried to grab whatever food they could. The students realized no other volunteers had been there despite the short distance from the previous site. (more…)

Read More