In an effort to better predict tsunamis, researchers at the University of Athens are working on underwater radiation-detecting drones as part of a project called RAMONES (RadioActivity Monitoring in Ocean EcoSystems). Understanding that seismic activity on land releases “small quantities of radon, a naturally occurring radioactive gas, into soil in the days before earthquakes happen,” scientists are developing a way to do the same on the sea floor. “Radioactivity itself is largely unknown in the marine environment, despite its importance,” Professor Theo J Mertzimekis—who is leading the just-started, four-year project—tells VICE’s Matt Allinson. Since traditional equipment used on land cannot be placed on the sea floor (most obviously because of the water, but also due to pressure, currents, winds and waves), the team will develop drones, “computers and types of AI that can do the job with the lowest electricity demands possible.” Read more at VICE.
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