The project called "Swarm for earthquake study (SAFE)" will study, based on data collected from satellites and from ground-based instruments, what happens during the phase preceding the great earthquakes, trying to identify any electromagnetic signals from space. The project is coordinated by the INGV and funded by the European Space Agency. Planetek Italia will also collaborate to the project.
SAFE is going to start on May 2, 2015, and will last16 months.
"The project aims to study the preparatory phase of large earthquakes through the analysis of electromagnetic data from sensors onboard the three satellites of ESA Swarm constellation in order to better understand the physical mechanisms involved," says Angelo De Santis, research director of the INGV and coordinator of the study - In particular, the Safe project aims to study the coupling between the outer part of the solid Earth, the lithosphere, where the earthquakes occur, and the overlying fluid portion, the atmosphere, with the objective to capture the information exchanged between the two layers through the integration of the data acquired by the satellites Swarm with those collected by other satellites and measuredby ground-based stations"
"To do this - says Cristoforo Abbattista, Head of Space Systems SBU, Planetek Italia - it is necessary to organize and merge the satellite data with those from the systems at ground to extract the necessary information for the analysis." The combination of data could provide a broad geophysical scenario able to improve the current understanding of the physics of the earthquakes and of their preparation processes detectable from space.
"To achieve the desired results and to ensure their wide dissemination," says Lucilla Alfonsi, researcher of the INGV, " experts on seismology, physics of the upper atmosphere, geomagnetism and satellite data processing will jointly work on the research."
See also other projects to study earthquakes and related phenomena with E.O. satellites, which Planetek cooperated: