Mitsubishi’s Revolutionary Enhanced Tsunami Detection System

Today Mitsubishi Electric Corporation (Tokyo) announced that the company has developed a high-frequency surface radar system. It will provide precise and detailed measurements of tsunami sea levels; and as a result of this Tsunami Detection System, timely and precise detection of multiple wave-fronts will be possible.

The Details of the Tsunami Detection System

As proposed by Mitsubishi, their technology will be able to detect tsunamis very accurately; with lower than 0.1% false alarm rate; and will be able to estimate sea levels to within a range of 50 centimeters. It is an improvement of over 1m accuracy over conventional technology. This Tsunami Detection System will allow earlier and more precise estimation of the tsunami levels; which in turn will allow faster and timely evacuation to have a minimum number of casualties. The company mentioned that they will be working on this technology along with universities, aiming to commercialize this enhanced Tsunami Detection System by the year 2025.

Aim: Better Detection Lesser Casualties

Since 1999, high-frequency ocean surface manufactured by Mitsubishi has been in use to study and monitor ocean currents only and not the tsunamis. The Great East Japan Earthquake of 11TH March 2011, was responsible for triggering a rigorous and deadly tsunami; which was reported to be detected by oceanographic radars. Soon, Mitsubishi electric Corporation started working on technology to detect multiple wave-fronts of tsunamis using high-frequency surface radar. The company is expecting that this technology will be able to reduce the damage caused by these tsunamis.

As per study reports by the Japan Society of Civil Engineers; the oceanographic radars are capable of observing the ocean surface to a range of 50 kilometers off-shore. Tsunamis can attain a speed of about 98 km/h at a tilted sea off depth 300 meters. So a tsunami which is 50 km off-shore will take around 30 minutes to reach the coast. As per the reports by the Urban Renaissance Agency, 10 minutes of early warning is required. This is necessary for successful evacuation of most of the coastal communities before tsunami approaches.

Mitsubishi’s new Tsunami Detection System focuses on the main characteristics of the tsunamis in the region using high-flow velocity wave-fronts; which will improve the accuracy of the tsunami detection. With the help of a proprietary algorithm, Mitsubishi’s technology will be able to estimate the characteristics of the tsunami wave-fronts by referencing a number of possible types. Thereby accurately estimating its direction, and also its height using the collected Doppler Velocities data of wave-fronts.


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