Researchers at California Polytechnic University in Humboldt County, California are exploring whether fiber optic networks could play a role in early earthquake detection. Their research is interesting in that the fiber optic connections are not simply transmitting data. Instead, the fiber itself is playing a role in generating the data that is being studied.
Fiber optic cables buried in the ground pick up specific frequencies, which can play a role in measuring seismic activity, and Humboldt County is one of the most seismically active areas in the U.S.
The researchers began studying a possible connection months ago by connecting 50 sensors along a buried fiber optic link to the university operated by Vero Network, a provider that specializes in connecting educational institutions.
Vero also will be providing connectivity to a new health care education hub that is being established to support healthcare career programs at Cal Poly Humboldt and College of the Redwoods.
Fiber Earthquake Detection
The Cal Poly earthquake detection research is ongoing, but as the researchers explain in this video, it was clear from the moment the sensors were installed that they would be able to pick up seismic readings from the fiber.
Research and education networks are often operated by universities, interconnecting them with other universities – the classic example being the Internet2 network.
But commercial network operators like Vero Networks also provide connectivity to universities.
Another commercial network operator targeting educational customers is Zayo.