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September 20, 2010

Radio Transmitters that can withstand 900 degrees Celsius (1,652 F) could provide early warning on volcanoes

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Silicon Carbide Radio transmitters that can withstand temperatures of up to 900 degrees Celsius could soon be dropped into the depths of the earth to provide early warning of a volcanic eruption.

Measuring subtle changes in the levels of key volcanic gases such as carbon dioxide and sulphur dioxide, the wireless sensor would feed back real-time data to the surface, providing vital information about volcanic activity and any impending eruption.



A Newcastle University (UK) team has developed the necessary components and are now working to integrate them into a device about the size of an iPhone that could be used in a variety of locations such as power plants, aircraft engines and even volcanoes.

Currently we have no way of accurately monitoring the situation inside a volcano and 500 million people live near volcanoes.

The device can also monitor the situation with a terrorist bombing of a building or subway and could sit on a wall to continue to provide data in extreme environments. The team is also working on through metal communications which involves transmitting a signal through almost 10cm of steel and wireless sensor networks.

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