New type of sound sensor system to predict likelihood of a landslide

October 22nd, 2010 - 5:07 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, Oct 22 (ANI): A new type of sound sensor system, believed to be the first system of its kind in the world, has been developed to predict the likelihood of a landslide.

It works by measuring and analysing the acoustic behaviour of soil to establish when a landslide is imminent so preventative action can be taken.

The technique has been developed by researchers at Loughborough University, in collaboration with the British Geological Survey, through two projects funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

The detection system consists of a network of sensors buried across the hillside or embankment that presents a risk of collapse.

The sensors, acting as microphones in the subsoil, record the acoustic activity of the soil across the slope and each transmits a signal to a central computer for analysis.

Noise rates, created by inter-particle friction, are proportional to rates of soil movement and so increased acoustic emissions mean a slope is closer to failure.

Once a certain noise rate is recorded, the system can send a warning, via a text message, to the authorities responsible for safety in the area.

An early warning allows them to evacuate an area, close transport routes that cross the slope or carry out works to stabilise the soil. (ANI)

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