Earthquake-Prediction Sensor Installed At Sikkim University

 

  • NET Web Desk

Indigenously-built earthquake detector sensor developed by the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) has been installed at the Khangchendzonga Management block of Sikkim Central University.

Considered as the first-of-its-kind installed in the tiny Himalayan state, this Radon-based seismic detector has been set-up under experimental project undertaken by BARC.

Named as Smart Radon Duo, 52 such detectors have so far been installed across the country.

According to the vice-chancellor of Sikkim Central University Avinash Khare, “This sensor is very useful to evaluate concentrations of radon gas in soil or groundwater could be the sign of an imminent earthquake.”

With its set-up, Sikkim has now become 7th such state in the entire northeastern regions.

“All Northeast States fall under seismic zone and with the advancement of technology and science, the study of radon will help in prediction of earthquake in time, so that source of terror and destruction for mankind be minimized,” – asserted Prof. Khare.

While elaborating on features of this new detector design, Prof. Khare stated that “it works with ambient air, thus avoiding the need to keep refilling the detector’s ionization chamber with a particular gas. It also has a high efficiency, which was achieved by including multiple wires in the ionization chamber. In laboratory tests, the researchers report a radon count of 140 Bq.m- over one minute. The tests also show that the device still functions in 70% humidity, while single-wire detectors start to falter at just 30 per cent.”

Meanwhile, the Deputy Registrar, CB Chettri informed “This is the first time such a sensor has been installed; it fully operates on a solar system with one SIM for data transfer. The sensor automatically transmits data to Bhabha Atomic Research Centre at Mumbai. Since it is recently installed and still in the experimental phase, we are just transmitting the data and in future it will help after analyzing data.”

Its worthy to note that Smart Radon Monitor (SRM) is a technologically advanced real time, portable, radon monitor, designed for multiple applications in radon studies.

Utilized for continuous radon monitoring in air, water and soil, the sensor may also be used for measurement of radon emission (Surface/ Mass Exhalation) from various sources such as building materials, soil, rocks, coal, fly-ash, Uranium tailings etc.

It finds application in public domain such as radon survey in houses, caves, seismic sites etc.