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Space Monitoring of Earthquake Precursors


Development of Set of On-board Instrumentation for a Space-based Experimental Study of the Electromagnetic and Plasma Earthquake Precursors

Tech Area / Field

  • OBS-NAT/Natural Resources and Earth Sciences/Other Basic Sciences

8 Project completed

Registration date

Completion date

Senior Project Manager
Ryabeva E V

Leading Institute
IZMIRAN, Russia, Moscow reg., Troitsk

Supporting institutes

  • Design Bureau "Arsenal", Russia, St Petersburg


  • NASDA, Japan, Tokyo\nUniversity of Electro-Communications, Japan, Tokyo

Project summary

Primary Project objective is development of a scientific program and of a set of instruments and equipment for the space-based experiment aimed at the detailed study of electromagnetic and plasma earthquake precursors. Presently, a number of experimental facts is known which point to the existence of the earthquake precursors, i.e. processes and phenomena generated in the ground, atmosphere and near-earth plasma hours, days and weeks before the actual earthquake. Similar phenomena are also discovered in connection with approaching catastrophes on large power facilities, such as atomic power stations. It is also known that a number of electromagnetic field and plasma parameters in the ionosphere is very sensitive to such phenomena as explosions, for example, underground nuclear explosions. These phenomena are accompanied by long-duration ionospheric response and can be observed by means of wave diagnostic techniques. However, this knowledge is uncoordinated and, to the large extend, accidental as they were obtained in the experiments targeted on different scientific problems, without proper planning and coordination with the ground-based experiments.

The suggested Project will permit to design the first space based experiment dedicated specifically to the study of the earthquake precursors and mastering the techniques detection and monitoring over the technological effects on the еnvironment Project envisages the development of the set of on-board instrumentation and equipment which would allow to register quasi-stationary electric fields and electromagnetic waves in the frequency range from 0.1 Hz to 20 kHz, disturbances of ionospheric plasma parameters (ion composition, electron and ion density and temperature) and atmospheric emissions as well as the data acquisition and its transfer from satellite to the ground-based receiving centers, integration of the instrumentation with the standard spacecraft of the "COSMOS" series, development of the computer software for the experimental data processing as well as techniques for coordinated on-board and ground-based observations in the framework of the planned experiments.

The expected success of the project is basferfon the utilization of:

- technical capabilities and experience in the design of scientific equipment and service subsystems for spacecrafts and integration of this equipment with the spacecrafts;

- technical capabilities and experience of Design Bureau "ARSENAL" in the creation of complex spacecraft equipment and integration of this equipment with the spacecraft systems;

- participation of strong international team of specialists in space physics from leading research groups in USA, France and Japan.

Technical approach to the experiment preparation is based on the continuous registration of the plasma and field parameters and their real-time on-board pre-processing , data transfer to the ground-based facilities for detailed processing and analysis together with the results of geophysical and radiophysical observations at the specialized ground based stations located in the areas of elevated seismic activity and radio routes over the possible earthquake zones. The suggested project fully complies with the aims of ISTC. It will allow to make a noticeable step forward towards the creation of the space-based system of the earthquake precursors monitoring.

Expected results.

As a result of this activity the scientific program and a set of scientific instruments will be developed as well as the service equipment necessary for conducting the experimental study of the earthquake precursors in space. Realization of such experiment accompanied with coordinated ground-based observations will allow to obtain the systematic experimental data on electromagnetic and plasma precursors of earthquakes, create satellite-supported earthquake forecasting techniques and test new equipment for the ionospheric monitoring of earthquakes. This is going to be a considerable step towards the creation of. the functioning space-based segment of global system for forecasting earthquakes and some other large scale natural and technological disasters. Considerable reduction in human and material losses caused by the disasters is expected.


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