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Aviation Monitoring of Natural and Industrial Disasters


Aviation Monitoring of Natural and Technogenious Disasters

Tech Area / Field

  • OBS-NAT/Natural Resources and Earth Sciences/Other Basic Sciences
  • ENV-MIN/Monitoring and Instrumentation/Environment

3 Approved without Funding

Registration date

Leading Institute
Myasishchev Design Bureau, Russia, Moscow reg., Zhukovsky

Supporting institutes

  • Institute of Physics of the Earth, Russia, Moscow

Project summary

The goal of the suggested Project is scientific and technical substantiation of air-borne system for monitoring of natural disasters and technogenic catastrophes and the creation of Critical Design Review (CDR) of the system. Such catastrophes include earthquakes of large magnitude, tropical cyclones (typhoons), emergency situations at the enterprises of atomic industry and energetics etc.

The project is based on the theory of lithosphere - ionosphere interaction describing the mechanisms of transferring the disturbances of seismic origin into the atmosphere, ionosphere and magnetosphere of the Earth and on the experience and the results of experimental studies confirming the existence of such interaction. This theory is developed by the project participants.

Shortly the mechanisms of seismogenic modification of environment can be described as following. Processes taking place in the earth's crust prior to earthquakes change the chemical composition of underground water and atmospheric gases at the epicenter of earthquake and increase the intensity of emissions of radioactive substances and charged aerosols into the atmosphere. These changes in turn cause temperature anomalies in the area of the potential earthquake and alter the electric conductivity of near-earth atmosphere, as well as electric current parameters in the earth-ionosphere circuit. As a result, change occurs in all major ionospheric characteristics before an earthquake, such as electric field intensity, plasma transfer rate, the altitude distribution of electron concentration, ion plasma composition, the structure of small-scale ionospheric inhomogeneities and longitudinal currents, wave disturbances in various frequency ranges, etc. All of these disturbances can be registered by modern scientific instruments used for space-based and atmospheric research. As these alterations appear in the atmosphere and the ionosphere several hours, days or weeks (depending on a disturbance type) prior to an earthquake, they can be used for earthquake forecasting purposes. The similar physical effects of modification of the atmosphere and the lower ionosphere electrodynamic parameters can appear also during the formation process of tropical cyclones (typhoons).

The space-based segment of future experimental system for monitoring earthquake precursors and some other types of large-scale natural disasters is developing now in frames of the satellite projects "Compass-1" and "Precursor-E" in Russia, "Demeter" in France and "ELMOS" in Japan.

However, many physical parameters related to disturbances of lower and middle atmosphere are inaccessible for the satellite devices and can be measured only onboard the aircraft operating at the altitudes up to 20 km. This circumstance stimulates the elaboration of air-borne segment which would ensure the monitoring disturbances of chemical composition of atmospheric gas, the main characteristics of aerosol clouds, the electric parameters of the atmosphere, the spectral and the temporal characteristics of wave radiation in ULF/VLF/HF ranges, the atmospheric emissions in various ranges of wave lengths, the thermal regimes of the Earth surface and the other parameters sensible to the processes of preparation and development of earthquakes.

The instrumentation and the methodology of monitoring developed for the aims of earthquake forecasting and typhoon studies can be used also for the monitoring of secure exploitation of nuclear industrial and energetic enterprises and ecological monitoring including leakage of products from gas and oil pipelines, the monitoring the state of high voltage electric power lines, roads, bridges and other engineering construction.

An unique opportunity for conducting such works presents the stratospheric aircraft "M-55" ("Geophysics") by Myasishchev Design Bureau that have no analogies over the world.

Forming an appearance of air-borne segment of complex system for monitoring of natural disasters and technogenic catastrophes on a basis of "M-55" ("Geophysics") and "M-101" ("Gzhel") aircrafts equipped with a special instrumentation set is a main target of the suggested project. In a frame of this project the following problems should be solved:

· Development of the physical model for modification of atmospheric processes and related disturbances of electromagnetic fields and plasma parameters in the ionosphere of the Earth under influence of factors caused by the processes of earthquake preparation and formation of tropical cyclone (typhoon) as well as the technogenic impacts on environment; elaboration on this basis of the scientific principals for short-term forecasting and warning the emergency situations connected with these catastrophic phenomena; development of the methodology for air-borne monitoring of disturbed parameters of the atmosphere and the lower ionosphere.

· Substantiation of key physical parameters to be measured onboard the stratospheric and low altitude airplanes.

· Elaboration of technical requirements for the onboard sensors, measuring devices, data reduction system and airplane-carriers.

· Development of the method for air-borne monitoring of the underground oil and gas leakage from pipelines, remote sensing of the state of electric power lines, roads, bridges, and other large engineering constructions.

· Development of Critical Design Review of the air-borne system for monitoring of natural disasters and technogenic catastrophes.

The present project completely corresponds to aims of ISTC. It will provide the job for highly skilled Russian scientists and engineers previously involved in military research.


The International Science and Technology Center (ISTC) is an intergovernmental organization connecting scientists from Kazakhstan, Armenia, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Georgia with their peers and research organizations in the EU, Japan, Republic of Korea, Norway and the United States.


ISTC facilitates international science projects and assists the global scientific and business community to source and engage with CIS and Georgian institutes that develop or possess an excellence of scientific know-how.

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