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Tsunami Early Warning Detections Using GPS

Interview with James Foster from the University of Hawai James Foster is a researcher at the University of Hawaii who has recently worked with a team of scientists to look into early warning systems for tsunamis by using GPS. His team recently published their research into how commercial shipping vessels can help with the early detection of tsunamis, which was then picked up by various news networks and bloggers across the world. We are lucky enough this week to have an interview with James, where he tells us a bit more about the GPS tsunami detection research as well as what plans him and the team have in the future for this application and other GPSinitiatives.1. Hi James, and thank you for agreeing to be interviewed by GPS Bites. We are really interested in your research into GPS tsunami warnings, and wondered if you could give our readers a brief introduction to your role in the study?Hi GPS Bites. The study came about quite serendipitously: I had just gotten funding to upgrade the GPS systems on our research vessel, the Kilo Moana, in order to use it for marine geodetic studies.When the news of the Chile earthquake and tsunami came ...

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A warning in lights in the sky

There comes a more general warning for navigators There was a Winter treat for people as far South as the Midlands of England, southern Denmark and North Germany this January, with a rare exhibition of the Aurora Borealis or "Northern Lights" over several clear nights. This spectacle was a portent of what will probably become quite common over the next two years, with the solar activity which causes this amazing sight reaching one of its regular peaks.While nobody who sees this natural phenomenon can be unmoved by its beauty, we should also be alert to the fact that this peak in solar activity could well cause interruption to all manner of satellite transmissions. Twelve years ago, which was the last time this electromagnetic disturbance was at such a high level, our dependence upon the Global Positioning System and all sorts of equipment that depends on satellite tracking and timing was far less than it is today.The vital signals from satellites, which we now depend upon so completely, are exceedingly low powered and are thus highly prone to interruption from the electro-magnetic disturbances that accompany solar flares. So there is a warning to navigators in particular to be alert to GPS ...

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Pirates are now using blogs and GPS to hunt merchant vessels

Pirates are getting increasingly sophisticated According to the IMB Piracy Reporting Centre, there have been 243 pirate attacks worldwide in 2011 thus far. Somalia alone accounts for the vast majority of the reported incidents, with 64% of the world's pirate attacks.Fast Company has a fascinating post up which takes a look at the technologies being utilized by Somali pirates to track merchant vessels for potential raids, which include things like blogs and GPS systems.The article states:"In addition to random attacks on cargo and passenger ships, Somali pirates are increasingly relying on the use of GPS systems, satellite phones, and open-source intelligence such as shipping industry blogs in order to figure out the location of ships. Much of the technological infrastructure used by the pirates is allegedly located in the Somalian city of Eyl, which has been described as the 'piracy capital of the world.''This should hardly come as a surprise. The image of armed gunmen drifting together through the ocean, waiting for unsuspecting cargo ships to cruise by isn't just a thing of the past - it's highly inefficient.Last year, Popular Mechanics reported on drug peddlers using high-tech mechanisms like satellites to avoid the DEA, and Wired did a feature ...

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