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Active Volcano To Be Connected To The Internet To Save Lives

Aug 09, 2016 06:41 AM EDT
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What do underwater volcanic eruptions sound like?

An active volcano in Nicaragua is going online.

The Nicaraguan government partnered with General Electric (GE) and explorer and filmmaker Sam Crossman to install about 80 Wi-Fi sensors inside the Masaya Volcano in an effort to monitor the volcano's activity and predict when it will erupt.

"The goal is essentially to install all these sensors and create the most effective early warning system in the world that would ultimately serve as a proof of concept for implementing something similar to communities around the world who are exposed to similar risks," Crossman said in a report by The Verge.

Masaya Volcano, also known as the "Mouth of Hell," is one of the most active volcanoes in Nicaragua and is located about 13 miles outside the capital Managua. According to volcanologist Guillermo Caravantes, Masaya poses "a real danger."

"[If there's an eruption] we could potentially have millions of lives at risk," Caravantes said in a report by Hufftington Post.

"It could happen at any time and the problem is, we are not able to predict when this could happen or what sorts of signs from the volcano [we should look for]."

Connecting the volcano to the Internet could be the solution, Caravantes said.

In the next few days, Crossman, together with Caravantes and his team, will descend up to 1,200 feet inside the volcano to test the Wi-Fi, and in about two to three weeks, the sensors will be installed. The sensors will collect real-time data about the volcano's temperature, atmospheric pressure, gravity, and various gasses like carbon dioxide and hydrogen sulphide, The Verge reports.

The data will be collected on GE's open-sourced database called Predix. This will allow volcanologists, local residents or interest groups to access the data and understand Masaya's activities.

Crossman will be wearing a special aluminized suit to withstand the temperature of the lake in Masaya's crater. "I look like a baked potato in a fire," he commented.

The Masaya expedition will be documented by GE and Qwake, Crossman's media company, as well as in various social media platforms.

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