The next big one: Detecting earthquakes and other rare events from community-based sensors
Can cell phones be used to detect earthquakes? The Community Seismic Network (CSN) is building a dense sensor network from inexpensive and community owned sensors, such as cell phones and USB accelerometers. Detecting rare events such as earthquakes is a difficult sensing problem, and is compounded by the wide variations among sensors in a heterogeneous community network. We demonstrate an end-to-end system using Android cell phones and a cloud fusion center that allows participants to create "mock earthquakes". Upon detecting such an event, the cloud fusion center issues real-time alerts to the phones. A map-based interface to the fusion center is projected nearby, displaying the information reported by the phones.
© 2011 ACM. The authors wish to thank the CSN Team: Robert Clayton, Thomas Heaton, Monica Kohler, Julian Bunn, Annie Liu, Leif Strand, Minghei Cheng and Daniel Rosenberg. This research was partially supported by ONR grant N00014-09-1-1044, NSF grants CNS-0932392 and IIS-0953413, a grant from the Moore Foundation and a gift from Microsoft Corporation.