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NASA READIs early detection GPS network, aids first responders with earthquake warnings


After tacking space shuttle Discovery onto the back of a 747, the brainy gang over at NASA's READI for a new challenge -- earthquake detection. The agency's GPS-monitoring system, known as the Real-time Earthquake Analysis for Disaster Mitigation Network, is being tested with the goal of more accurately detecting the scale of quakes and, consequently, getting tsunami warnings out as soon as possible. The setup, made possible by a partnership between the Department of Defense, the National Science Foundation, and the United States Geological Survey, works by measuring ground displacement in real-time to provide a faster, more detailed assessment of imminent damage, thereby giving first responders a head start on determining aid. So the next time you look up to the night sky and wish upon a tracking star, keep in mind that sometimes privacy-skewing, positioning tech could just save your life.

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