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Friday, January 07, 2005

The Open Tsumani Alerting System

We recently covered building global internet tsunami warning system in a month Bob Cringley, the original proponent of the system now writes Charles R. Martin and Canadian earth scientist Darren Griffith met through this column, and are in the initial stages of building an Open Tsunami Alerting System (OTAS). Although work has just started, they've established a few basic principles: OTAS will be very lightweight; will use openly available geophysical or seismic data sources; will be highly distributed and decentralized; and will be built to run on very low-powered commodity hardware. They currently foresee using Python and Java, but aren't religious about it. A new blogsite has been setup for meeting this objective.
Robert writes,
The Open Tsunami Alerting System (OTAS) is an open-source project
to supplement the existing tsunami warning systems in a
decentralized, non-governmental fashion. OTAS *does not*
attempt to supplant any existing warning systems, and will be
designed to integrate easily into other tsunami warning systems.
This blog will serve as a central point for collecting information about a development effort for just such a system, called OTAS or the Open Tsunami Alerting System.
The few basic principles of the system shall be:
1. OTAS will be platform independent and open source under the GNU Public LIcense (GPL).
2. OTAS will be built so be simple, conservative, and correct. That is to say:
simple - the design wll be intentionally limited; rather than including complicated geophysical codes, we will concentrate on clarity and transparency.
conservative - if OTAS makes an error, we will design to fail safe and fail soft: we prefer issuing a false alert to failing to issue an alert.
correct - we will apply all available techniques to ensure that the released packages are as nearly error free as we can make them.
3. OTAS will be decentralized. Geophysical or seismological data will be accepted from multiple sources (a later post will discuss some open sources of seismo data), and no notification site will be a "master".
Charles also refers to a series of presentations on the Tsunami.

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Sadagopan's Weblog on Emerging Technologies, Trends,Thoughts, Ideas & Cyberworld
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