Linux Foundation, IBM and Grillo are working on a system for early earthquake detection

The joint initiative called OpenEEW (Earthquake Early Warning) is intended to accelerate the development of open-source early warning systems and relies on Docker for this.

 Linux Foundation, IBM and Grillo work on system for early earthquake detection

Together with IBM and the start-up Grillo, the Linux Foundation would like to further develop open-source early warning systems for detecting earthquakes. The initiative, called OpenEEW (Early Earthquake Warning), takes existing components of Grillo’s EEW platform for measuring, detecting and analyzing earthquakes as a starting point. A Docker version of the detection component already exists, which can be rolled out on the IBM cloud with Kubernetes and Red Hat OpenShift.

early earthquake detection with IoT and AI

The initiative is not only about software, but also about hardware and IoT components (Internet of Things): Real-time warning systems should be provided by users on platforms such as Kubernetes and Raspberry Pi and be able to issue mobile warnings on various types of devices . IBM is contributing a new dashboard for visualizing measurement data and is using six earthquake sensors from Grillo, which are now undergoing tests in Puerto Rico.

The use of machine learning also plays a role in the project: at the universities Research teams from Harvard and Oregon are currently evaluating more than a terabyte of measurement data that has been collected in several earthquake regions in Latin America since 2017. Harvard has apparently worked with Google to create an AI model that can predict and locate potential aftershocks that can occur up to a year after the actual earthquake. Other universities are actively doing research on this, some of them also evaluating historical data at the same time. Appropriately, Google has just introduced an earthquake detection system that uses the acceleration sensors of smartphones and potentially turns Android phones into small seismographs.

OpenEEW is intended to encourage the establishment of warning systems for the early detection of earthquakes in countries with high seismic activity such as Italy, Nepal, Mexico, Japan, Ecuador and New Zealand. So far, only a handful of countries appear to have invested in EEWs, including the likes of Mexico, Italy, Japan, Turkey, Romania, China, Taiwan and parts of the US. One obstacle may have been the high costs, which made creating and setting up such early warning systems a hurdle, especially for poorer regions. The US Geological Survey estimates that approximately 3 billion people live in earthquake-prone regions worldwide.

OpenEEW has received seed funding from the US Agency for International Development, the Clinton Foundation and Arrow Electronics . Details on the launch of the project can be found in the IBM blog entry. More information about the new initiative can be found on the OpenEEW homepage. Those interested can find the project on GitHub. Project information is also listed particularly clearly in the Open Data Registry at AWS.

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