Zhang Heng, a Chinese inventor, created the first-ever seismoscope over 1,800 years ago. Now, scientists are using a satellite named after him to research earthquake forecasting. Launched in February 2018, the Zhangheng 1 satellite is China’s first seismo-electromagnetic satellite. It captures electromagnetic signals in space, supporting earthquake forecasting as well as space weather monitoring and warning.
Shen Xuhui, the chief scientist of the satellite program, recently announced the latest progress of the satellite at the 35th National Symposium on Space Exploration. He stated that the Zhangheng 1 satellite has achieved numerous accomplishments in the past five years. These achievements include obtaining global geomagnetic field data and global low-frequency electromagnetic spectrum data. The satellite has also established two models for subsequent data research.
The primary purpose of the Zhangheng 1 satellite is to detect electromagnetic anomalies before, during, and after an earthquake. By analyzing these anomalies, scientists hope to predict the location and intensity of future earthquakes. The satellite has a highly sensitive detector that can detect electromagnetic signals from deep within the earth. These signals can provide valuable information about the earth’s crust and mantle.
In addition to earthquake forecasting, the Zhangheng 1 satellite also monitors space weather. This includes phenomena such as solar flares and coronal mass ejections, which can have a significant impact on satellite and communication systems. By providing advanced warning of these events, the satellite can help mitigate their effects on Earth.
The Zhangheng 1 satellite is an essential tool for earthquake forecasting and space weather monitoring. It has achieved significant progress in the five years since its launch, providing valuable data for research. The satellite’s advanced technology and sensitive detector allow scientists to detect electromagnetic anomalies deep within the earth, providing crucial information for earthquake prediction. Additionally, the satellite’s space weather monitoring capabilities can help mitigate the effects of solar flares and coronal mass ejections on Earth.
Earthquake prediction has always been a global challenge. Gathering enough data from destructive earthquakes to validate prediction methods and theories has been difficult for scientists. According to the scientist, satellite monitoring breaks through the limitations of traditional earthquake research. Shen added that statistics have shown that electromagnetic disturbances in space are associated with the occurrence of earthquakes.
The Zhangheng 1 satellite has enabled scientists to extend their observations to a global scale and conduct statistical studies with large samples, providing valuable data for earthquake prediction. Over the past five years, the satellite has observed around 60 quakes of 7.0 magnitude and above, as well as nearly 600 quakes of 6.0 magnitude and above worldwide.
The satellite has enabled researchers to detect precursory signals of earthquakes measuring 6.0 magnitude or higher up to half a month before the event. According to Shen, up to 80 percent of these earthquakes exhibit precursory signals, providing an opportunity for scientists to issue warnings and prepare for potential disasters.
By analyzing electromagnetic signals from the satellite, scientists can gain a better understanding of the physical processes leading up to an earthquake. The satellite has a highly sensitive detector that can detect electromagnetic signals deep within the earth. These signals provide valuable information about the stress and strain within the earth’s crust and mantle.
The satellite’s ability to observe electromagnetic signals globally allows for the identification of potential earthquake precursor signals across large regions. This can help scientists to better understand the underlying physics of earthquakes and develop more effective prediction methods.
By detecting electromagnetic disturbances in space associated with earthquakes, the satellite has broken through the limitations of traditional earthquake research. The ability to observe globally has enabled the identification of potential earthquake precursor signals and provided insight into the underlying physics of earthquakes. The satellite’s observations have also helped researchers to issue warnings and prepare for potential disasters.
Shen, the chief scientist of the Zhangheng 1 satellite program, has acknowledged the advances made by the satellite in earthquake forecasting. However, he has also pointed out that there is still a long way to go before accurate earthquake forecasting can be achieved.
Despite the identification of a large number of precursory signals through the data, only a small number of precursory signals were detected in advance. This is due to the complexity of data processing and the limitations of human and computing power to track global data in real-time.
The identification of precursory signals is a complex task that requires significant data processing power. The satellite’s highly sensitive detector captures large amounts of electromagnetic data, which must be analyzed and processed to identify precursory signals. This requires significant computing power and sophisticated algorithms that can distinguish precursory signals from background noise.
Shen noted that the satellite’s observations are still in the early stages, and there is a need for continued research and development to improve the accuracy of earthquake forecasting. This will require significant investment in computing power, data processing, and human resources to analyze the vast amounts of data generated by the satellite.
While the Zhangheng 1 satellite has made significant strides in earthquake forecasting, there is still a long way to go before accurate predictions can be made. The complexity of data processing and limitations of computing power and human resources continue to be major challenges in the field. Continued investment in research and development is necessary to improve the accuracy of earthquake forecasting and reduce the risk of devastating earthquakes.
Accurately forecasting the time, location, and intensity of earthquakes remains a significant challenge, as the precursory signals detected by satellites often appear several hundred kilometers away from the epicenter. Despite the progress made by the Zhangheng 1 satellite, accurate earthquake prediction requires multidisciplinary research in various fields.
Shen highlighted that satellite data alone is insufficient to make accurate predictions. Earthquake prediction requires a multidisciplinary approach that involves seismology, electromagnetics, geodesy, and geochemistry. The collaboration of experts from these diverse fields is necessary to improve the accuracy of earthquake forecasting.
Despite the current limitations in earthquake prediction, Shen remains optimistic about the future prospects of this field. He believes that continued investment in research and development will lead to new breakthroughs in earthquake prediction. The development of new technologies, such as artificial intelligence and big data analytics, may also provide new tools to aid in earthquake prediction.
Shen noted that the ultimate goal of earthquake prediction research is to reduce the risk of devastating earthquakes and minimize their impact on human lives and infrastructure. He emphasized the importance of continued investment in research and development to achieve this goal.
A multidisciplinary approach that involves collaboration between experts from various fields is necessary to improve the accuracy of earthquake forecasting. Continued investment in research and development, along with the development of new technologies, is crucial to reducing the risk of devastating earthquakes and minimizing their impact.
Shen believes that the development of information technology, such as machine learning, big data, and artificial intelligence, will enable real-time data processing before an earthquake occurs. With these advanced technologies, scientists can detect precursory signals and monitor changes in the Earth’s system more accurately.
Shen is optimistic about the future of earthquake prediction, stating that a breakthrough can be expected within the next 10 to 20 years. With the continued investment in research and development, along with the development of new technologies, scientists may soon be able to predict earthquakes with greater accuracy.
To further enhance the ability to observe changes in the Earth’s system and improve earthquake prediction, China plans to launch the Zhangheng 1-02 satellite in the near future. This new satellite will enable round-the-clock monitoring and extend the observation range to Earth’s north and south poles. The expanded observation range will enable the satellite to detect electromagnetic disturbances and other precursory signals associated with the occurrence of earthquakes, even in remote areas.
Shen emphasized that continued investment in research and development is crucial to the future of earthquake prediction. The development of new technologies and the collaboration of experts from various fields can help overcome the current limitations in earthquake prediction.
With the launch of the Zhangheng 1-02 satellite, round-the-clock monitoring and an expanded observation range will enable scientists to detect precursory signals associated with the occurrence of earthquakes. By working together and leveraging new technologies, scientists may soon be able to predict earthquakes with greater accuracy, reducing the risk of devastating earthquakes and minimizing their impact on human lives and infrastructure.