Linux Foundation, Grillo and IBM Announce Earthquake Early-Warning Open Source Project
Testing underway in Puerto Rico
SAN JUAN – The Linux Foundation, a nonprofit supported by more than 1,500 members and leader in collaboration on open source software, open standards, open data and open hardware, announced it will host Grillo’s OpenEEW project in collaboration with IBM to accelerate the deployment of earthquake early-warning systems (EEWs).
The primary aim of the project is to encourage a variety of people – makers, data scientists, entrepreneurs, seismologists – to build EEWs in seismic regions. This community may also contribute to OpenEEW by advancing the sensor hardware design, improving detection and characterization of earthquakes through machine learning, and creating new methods for delivering alerts to citizens.
IBM has deployed a set of six of Grillo’s earthquake sensor hardware and is conducting tests in Puerto Rico, the foundation said, adding that “Grillo sensors have generated more than 1 terabyte of data since 2017 in Mexico, Chile, Puerto Rico and Costa Rica, including information from large earthquakes of magnitudes 6 and 7. Researchers from Harvard University and the University of Oregon are already working with this data, which will enable new machine learning earthquake characterization and detection methods.”
The project includes the core components of the Grillo EEW system, which comprises “integrated capabilities to sense, detect and analyze earthquakes as well as alert communities, the foundation said of OpenEEW, which was created by Grillo with support from IBM, USAID, the Clinton Foundation and Arrow Electronics.
“EEW systems provide public alerts in countries including Mexico, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan, but nearly three billion people globally live with the threat of an earthquake and don’t have access to nation-wide systems, which can cost upwards of one billion U.S. dollars,” the foundation explained. “OpenEEW wants to help reduce the costs of EEW systems, accelerate their deployments around the world and has the potential to save many lives.”
The OpenEEW Project includes several Internet of things (IoT) components: “sensor hardware and firmware that can rapidly detect and transmit ground motion; real-time detection systems that can be deployed on various platforms from a Kubernetes cluster to a Raspberry Pi; and applications that allow users to receive alerts on hardware devices, wearables, or mobile apps as quickly as possible. The open source community aims to help advance earthquake technology by contributing to OpenEEW’s three integrated technology capabilities: deploying sensors, detecting earthquakes and sending alerts,” the press release explains.
“For years we have seen that EEWs have only been possible with very significant governmental financing, due to the cost of dedicated infrastructure and development of algorithms. We expect that OpenEEW will reduce these barriers and work towards a future where everyone who lives in seismically-active areas can feel safe,” said Andres Meira, founder, Grillo.
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