IBM is working on a comprehensive tsunami alert system

Tsunami warnings have typically been communicated to individuals through television or radio media.

Recently, comprehensive tsunami alert systems have been developed that utilize sirens and even text messaging to cell phone users.

An oncoming tsunami is detected by open ocean tsunami sensors. Detection by the sensors can involve checking the varying pressure of water as waves pass overhead.

Image Credit: NCTR
Image Credit: NCTR

Once the tsunami sensors in the ocean are triggered by an oncoming tsunami, the sensors transmits the ocean data in real-time to a tsunami monitoring agency. The monitoring agency receives data from multiple observation sources at sea. Accordingly, it runs computer simulations to predict the intensity and path of the oncoming tsunami.

tsunami alert

Specifically, the tsunami monitoring agency determines zones of danger. Then, warning messages are transmitted to people in the zones of danger (for example, via a smartphone application or SMS). Then, the smartphone application displays navigational instructions in the direction of the shortest safest path to get out of a zone of danger based on a user’s current geographic location. The navigational instructions may also be sent via SMS.

Patent Information
Publication number: US 20160210840
Patent Title: Comprehensive Tsunami Alert System Via Mobile Devices
Publication date: Jul 21, 2016
Filing date: Mar 29, 2016
Inventors: Erik A. Kirk;
Original Assignee: International Business Machines Corporation