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Underground Fiber-Optic Cables Help Scientists Record Thunderquakes


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A lightning storm.

Fiber-optic cables can be used to measure tiny seismic events generated by thunderstorms, according to new research.

Credit: John Angelillo/UPI

Researchers at Pennsylvania State University (Penn State) have found that underground fiber-optic cables can be used to track thunderstorms.

The researchers used a distributed acoustic sensing (DAS) array to track the tiny seismic events caused by thunder.

The device fires a laser down one of the glass fibers in a fiber-optic cable, registering tiny changes in pressure and recording measurements every six feet; a few miles of underground cables can create a network featuring thousands of sensors.

When the researchers compared the measurements recorded by the DAS array, the data matched the distribution of lightning recorded by the U.S. National Lightning Detection Network.

Said Penn State’s David Stensrud, "This research is an example of taking an existing technology and using it to serve another purpose."

From UPI
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Abstracts Copyright © 2019 SmithBucklin, Washington, DC, USA


 

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