Design of a Tsunami Early Warning System for Ecuador based on Satellite Terminals

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Aldair Alarcón Rubio http://orcid.org/0000-0002-4371-5562
Arturo Cadena Torres http://orcid.org/0000-0002-2806-8707
Freddy Villao Quezada http://orcid.org/0000-0003-4282-4924

Abstract

The Ecuador earthquake on April 16, 2016, with a moment magnitude of 7.8, generated a small local Tsunami event clearly registered by the DART (Deep-ocean Assessment and Reporting of Tsunamis) buoy system which took less than 10 minutes to arrive to the coast of Esmeraldas. Ecuador has the risk of a major Tsunami event occurring near to its shore. Under this scenario of a Tsunami event near to Ecuadorian shore, a Tsunami Early Warning System to alert vulnerable coastal cities based on the readings from the Tsunami Buoys located at Ecuadorian waters is mandatory. This paper describes the design of a Tsunami Early Warning System for Ecuadorian Coast based on short-burst satellite terminals installed on Tsunami buoys near the Ecuadorian shore and early warning siren located at coastal cities. The system installed on the Tsunami buoy has access to the BPR (Bottom Pressure Recorder) readings; in case of a Tsunami event registered by the BPR, the system automatically sends a data frame to trigger the early warning siren at the coastal cities. The proposed system is based on low cost microcontrollers with open source code and solar panels with ultracapacitors as energy storage unit to ensure high endurance without significant maintenance. Based on the field test results, this design for a fully autonomous early warning Tsunami System turned out as potentially appropriate to protect the population of Ecuadorian coastal cities.
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References

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