TwinSat: Russia-UK micro/nanosatellites

Detection and Monitoring of Earthquake Precursors: TwinSat, a Russia-UK Satellite Project [pdf]
Chmyrev, V and Smith, A and Kataria, D and Nesterov, B and OWEN, C and Sammonds, P and Sorokin, V and Vallianatos, F
Detection and Monitoring of Earthquake Precursors: TwinSat, a Russia-UK Satellite Project. In: (Proceedings) RAeS Conf Proc. , Yuri Gagarin’s Legacy - 50 Years On. (In press).
  • A New Milestone in Russia-UK Collaboration in Space Research (University College London)
  • A New Milestone in Russia-UK Collaboration in Space Research (ISTC, 18.02.2011)
    On February 17th a tripartite Memorandum of Understanding was signed between UCL Mullard Space Science Laboratory, the Institute of Physics of the Earth and the International Science and Technology Center on future collaboration in the TwinSat Project that combines Russian and UK technologies to build new generation Earth observation satellites to monitor seismic activity such as earthquakes and volcanoes.

    The joint project will offer real time monitoring of sensitive seismic areas such as Iceland and Kamchatka. The two planned satellites aim to investigate precursors to earthquakes and volcanic eruptions through effects in the upper atmosphere and will coordinate its observations with ground based facilities.

    "This is a weakly studied area and it demands more serious considerations. If this project is successful, it will significantly enhance understanding of earthquake precursors and may lead to a new tool for their prediction. This project represents a new milestone in UK-Russia collaboration in space", stated Alan Smith, Director of the UCL Mullard Space Science Laboratory.

    Professor Vitaly Chmyrev from the Institute of Physics of the Earth (Russia) added that "we are very happy to see that this joint project is successfully moving forward towards receiving the required funding. This collaborative work will benefit both Russian and UK science in addition to making the earth a safer place."

    The project will be officially presented in the UK on March 16th at the conference Yury Gagarin's Legacy - 50 Years On.
    Memorandum of Understanding (British Embassy Moscow, Feb. 20, 2011)

  • Nano-satellite scheme to predict natural disasters (The Moscow News, 18/02/2011)
    It's barely 20cm across, it weighs about 2 kg - and it could be the first step towards a breakthrough in predicting natural disasters.

    A revolutionary nano-satellite could become the rising star of Russia's space programme, developed in conjunction with British scientists to test the physics behind a potentially life-saving scheme.

    The joint effort involving Russia's Institute of Physics of the Earth and London's Mullard Space Centre Laboratory hopes to develop a workable system to detect the electro-magnetic impulses which precede volcanic eruptions and earthquakes - and help timely evacuations.

    The science part

    Professor Vitaly Chmyrev, of the Russian institute, explained how it might become possible to predict future cataclysms.

    "Nature warns us when big natural disasters are coming," he said. "There are indicators days, weeks and sometimes even months before an earthquake or a volcanic eruption.

    "If we can identify these signs, even though we can't prevent an earthquake, we can try to predict what will happen and minimise the effects."

    The cosmic part of this project involves a new TwinSat programme, with a nano-satellite developed in the UK forming part of a monitoring system.

    And that mini-machine, working in tandem with a parent satellite, will effectively open a "second eye" on the problem, greatly improving on the current rather haphazard orbital monitoring of geological hot spots Prof. Chmyrev told journalists at a briefing organised by Moscow's International Science and Technology Center.

    With the opportunity to home in on well-known seismic fault lines, the planned 2015 launch would enable scientists to test the theories behind their early-warning system and move a step closer to making reliable predictions of earthquakes and eruptions.

    The potential problems

    Earthquake experts fear that a major quake under a city such as Tehran or Istanbul could cause up to 1 million deaths, due to a combination of high population density and relatively low-grade building.

    But before the project can produce a warning which might enable the authorities to intervene and save those lives, more work is required.

    The electro-magnetic impulses from the Earth's crust as tectonic stresses build up are similar to the electro-magnetic signals generated by large cities - including those located on fault lines.

    "We don't know yet how to distinguish between these," admitted Professor Peter Salmon of UCL. "A more achievable goal at the moment would be predicting an earthquake without a mega city on top of it."

    Predictions of that sort could still save lives and limit the destruction caused by tremors, and Prof. Salmon told The Moscow News he is hopeful that the new satellite system could provide vital information from the skies which can be tested alongside earth-bound analysis to enhance the quality of quake warnings.

    Space in miniature

    With the key nano-satellite component measuring 10x10x20 cm and weighing just 2 kg, the cost of the mission comes down sharply.

    Far from the $100 million price tags of old, the Russo-British joint project believes it can get into orbit for around $5 million.

    And, as Prof. Salmon added, that changes the whole aerospace equation.

    "Costs are coming down all the time and that is changing the game," he said. "It's a high risk project but it has a high potential return on very low costs."

    Meanwhile nano- and micro-satellites could, in their turn, revolutionise future space travel.

    Professor Dhiren Kataria, also of the Mullard Space Science Laboratory, explained that these are small enough to piggy-back onto planned launches of traditional satellites.

    And once in space they can be used to service and support bigger orbiting modules or perform missions of their own.

    "Already we can release them from bigger satellites into more complex orbits around the Earth," Prof. Kataria said. "Now we are carrying out feasibility studies with industries looking at other practical applications as well as using them in space to correct the direction of satellites."
  • Satellite project to predict earthquakes will 'help save lives' (The Independent, 19 February 2011)
    Scientists have launched a project that they hope could one day help save thousands of lives by predicting when and where earthquakes will happen. A group of British and Russian scientists signed an agreement to work together on the project earlier this week in Moscow.

    The TwinSat project involves the launch of two satellites - one of which they say is about the size of an old television set and the other smaller than a shoebox - which will orbit the earth a few hundred miles apart.

    Data from the satellites will be collated with data from the ground as the scientists try to understand what natural warnings are given prior to earthquakes.

    "As stress builds up in the Earth prior to an earthquake, subtle electromagnetic signals are released that can be read from the upper atmosphere," said Professor Alan Smith, Director of the Mullard Space Science Laboratory at University College, London, who was in Moscow this week to launch the project.

    "We want to try to work out how these signals differ from all the other things that are present at any given time." The two linked satellites will monitor zones with high seismic and volcanic activity, such as Iceland and the Kamchatka Peninsula in the far east of Russia. The project is being run by a team of British and Russian scientists and was heralded "a new milestone in UK-Russia space collaboration" by Professor Smith.

    Professor Vitaly Chmyrev, of the Institute of Physics of the Earth in Moscow, one of the Russian partners, said that the possibilities for progress in earthquake research were extremely exciting. He said that the project will "benefit both Russian and British science in addition to making the Earth a safer place".

    Professor Chmyrev noted that in the days leading up to the devastating earthquake in Haiti last year, satellites picked up electromagnetic signals from the area, but they were only analysed afterwards. This project could be a huge step towards understanding how to read these signals. "Just imagine if we could have accurately predicted the Haiti earthquake a few weeks before," said Professor Chmyrev. "Or if we had predicted the Icelandic volcano eruption that paralysed transport routes for weeks. The potential human and economic benefits are enormous."

    Peter Sammonds, Professor of Geophysics at UCL and another member of the project team, said that because the satellites were so small, the technology was relatively cheap. "These satellites are absolutely incredible, you can almost hold them in the palm of your hand," he said. "If the project progresses as we want it to, we'll be able to send up several more of them to increase coverage."

    The first satellite launch is planned for 2015, and the team is confident that the project could change the way we understand earthquakes. "It wasn't long ago that if you said there was a chance of predicting earthquakes, people would say you were a charlatan, and not a real scientist," said Professor Chmyrev. "But science moves quickly and I'm absolutely certain that sooner or later we'll be able to make very accurate predictions."
  • Group Meetings Academic year 2010-2011 (Thursday 24th February)
    Chris Owen Chris and Dhiren report on science and technology aspects of a potential mission dubbed TwinSat
  • Man's future in space depends on investment these days – space professor (RT, 01 March, 2011)

    Modern space exploration is more about commerce than national prestige, and getting funding means drawing a convincing picture of future profits to the investor, said Alan Smith from the Mullard Space Science Laboratory in London.

    ­Alan Smith heads the British part of the Russia-UK joint TwinSat Project that is working on the construction of next-generation satellites to observe and monitor seismic activity on Earth, such as earthquakes and volcanoes.

    ・The TwinSat Project would involve two spacecrafts which would orbit the Earth about 400 kilometers apart and with instrumentation on board that would study the ionosphere from above,・ Alan Smith explains.

    ・What we are looking for are signatures in the ionosphere which are precursors to earthquake phenomena and volcanic eruption phenomena,・ all of them necessary for an earthquake prediction programme.

    A special website will be set up to predict the probability of earthquakes around the world. Predictions could be made up to 10 days before the actual disaster, so when the alert for a certain region goes red, the authorities will have time to prepare and do whatever they can to properly act when it happens.

    ・We:ll have less collateral damage, less loss of life,・ Alan Smith says.

    The launch of the satellites is expected in about 2015 and their mission will last three years.

    The Russian partners were chosen to develop the system because ・Russians have a huge heritage of space activities・ and have specialists for whom such work is ・their culture and way of life,・ which makes them ・a very credible partner・.

    Alan Smith says that modern day space exploration is more commercial than in the 1980:s and that puts certain limits on it, because such projects as the expedition to Mars demand more political will in the first place.

    ・If we decided to go to Mars tomorrow – we could be there in 10 years. It is a matter of political determination, just like going to the Moon.・

    Today, however, politics affects pure science less because ・These days it is not about national prestige but about national economics,・ Alan Smith concluded.

    That is why scientists are trying to encourage public interest because ・without public interest we are not going to get the funding.・

    ・We need to be relevant; we need to show how going to Mars benefits the nation that is going there.・

    Alan Smith expressed the opinion that space tourism will soon become much more affordable, but sub-orbital flights will become most needed as a means for intercontinental travel, as ・it is not so much a matter of technical feasibility – it is whether or not you get the investment.・
  • CONFERENCE: Yuri Gagarin:s Legacy Б 50 Years On (Royal Aeronautical Society, March 16, 2011)
    Detection and Monitoring of Earthquake Precursors: TwinSat, a Russia-UK Satellite Project
    Dr Vitaly Chmyrev, Institute of Physics of the Earth, Russian Academy of Sciences
    Prof Alan Smith, Director, Mullard Space Science Laboratory
  • Satellite system could provide earlier earthquake warnings (UN-SPIDER, 16/03/2011)

  • SATELLITES predict earthquake (OAO RSS, 25.03.2011)
    Darin Rudakov.

    A group of British and Russian scientists has been developing a new project, through which it will be possible in advance to predict earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. Satellite system called TwinSat will monitor the seismic activity of Earth from space.

    The satellites, designed by scientists, will be in Earth orbit at a distance of 400 meters and monitor electromagnetic pulses, the newspaper Independent. The object of monitoring will be at the same time zone with high seismic and volcanic activity, such as Iceland and Kamchatka.

    According to scientists, to natural disasters planet gives weak signals. So, for example, similar signals were recorded before the earthquake in Japan. Using the same technology TwinSat may be predicting disaster for several weeks, reports Security News.

    According to the newspaper, a joint Russian-British team working on the project, plans to launch satellites in early 2015. Agreement on Cooperation signed scientific Mullard Space Laboratory at University College London, Institute of Physics of the Earth. OY Schmidt, Russian Academy of Sciences and International Science and Technology Center. The role of the ISTC was only to facilitate the preparation of the project at an early stage.

    Professor Vitaly Chmyrev from the Institute of Physics of the Earth is dreaming of that to further develop the draft technology for early detection of seismic shifts made the earth a safer place. According to him, if successful, would be to increase the number of satellites and thus expand the coverage of the earth's surface.
  • Predicting Earthquakes with Satellites (Katerva, May 13, 2011)
    Developed by a team of British and Russian scientists, the TwinSat project hopes to accurately predict where and when earthquakes will occur.

    TwinSat was announced in early 2011 to mark the 50th anniversary of Yuri Gagarin's journey as the first human being in outer space. The project is a collaboration between British and Russian scientists and institutions, which include Alan Smith, Director of the Mullard Space Science Laboratory at University College London (UCL), Vitaly Chmyrev of the Schmidt Institute of Physics of the Earth at the Russian Academy of Sciences and Peter Sammonds, Professor of Geophysics at UCL.

    Slated to launch in 2015, the satellite will be comprised of two co-orbiting spacecraft - 45kg microsatellite and a 2.5kg nanosatellite - known collectively as TwinSat. Each satellite will carry a suite of science instruments to measure coupling between the lithosphere, atmosphere and ionosphere (LAI). These LAI coupling events are associated with seismic activity and hence, are believed to be precursors to earthquakes.

    Because the satellites are so small and are made of standard components, they are cheap to make and easy to reproduce. If the initial project proves successful, the team hopes to send many more satellites into orbit to cover the entire globe.

    “It wasn't long ago that if you said there was a chance of predicting earthquakes, people would say you were a charlatan, and not a real scientist,” said Professor Chmyrev. "But science moves quickly and I'm absolutely certain that sooner or later we’ll be able to make very accurate predictions."

    Over a three-year period, TwinSat expects to observe approximately 400 earthquakes. By identifying the sequence of events and signals that precede them, the TwinSat project hopes to develop a systematic system to predict the time and location of future earthquakes, saving millions of lives in the process.
  • Third Workshop "Solar influences on the magnetosphere, ionosphere and atmosphere" (Space and Solar-Terrestrial Research Institute Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, June, 2011)
    Chmyrev V., Smith A., Balikhin M., Belyaev G., Boytchev B., Kataria D.

    TwinSat is a proposed new mission that uses a micro and nano satellite pair to make coordinated electromagnetic and plasma observations of the terrestrial ionosphere at various scales by employing a flexible separation strategy. In this report, we discuss the scientific payload for the TwinSat mission. The micro satellite electromagnetic payload will provide vector measurements of the DC electric field, the waveform of 6 electromagnetic field components in the frequency range 0.5 – 350 Hz and the full 6 component spectral matrix for field oscillations in ULF/ELF/VLF and VHF ranges. In addition, sample waveforms at frequencies in the range 22-48 MHz will be returned. Plasma analyzers onboard the micro and nano satellites will measure the variations of thermal and supra thermal (0.3 - 20 eV) plasma parameters and the energy distributions of electron and ion fluxes in the range 0.3 – 300 eV for two directions with time resolution 0.1s. The electromagnetic payload of the nano satellite includes 2 search coil magnetometers covering the frequency range 0.5 – 350 Hz and identical to those installed on the micro satellite. The nano satellite data will be constantly transmitted to the micro satellite through a specialized radio link. The high accuracy of timing and positioning of the nano and micro satellites provides the opportunity to study the spatial structure and the dynamic characteristics of ionospheric disturbances.
  • “Skolkovo” cosmic plans (RUVR, Aug 8, 2011) | スコルコヴォの宇宙プラン
    “There is another interesting proposal,” Sergey Zhukov continues, “one of a satellite system that recognizes earthquakes at an early stage. It has been found out that the activity of the Earth’s crust produces some changes in the ionosphere. This will be a system of two satellites, a 200-kilo and a 50-kilo one, that will fly one after another, receive information from the ionosphere and deliver it to Earth. This project gives great prospects both for scientific researches and for commercial needs. In particular, we hope that insurance companies will be interested in receiving information from these satellites.”
  • Formative Projects (UCL, 15 Sept, 2011)
    TwinSat - a Russia-UK mission to study earthquake precursor signals

    QB50 - a multi-cubesat mission to study the lower thermosphere
  • 2nd International Demeter Workshop (CNES, Oct. 10-12, 2011)
    TwinSat: A Russia-UK satellite project to study ionospheric disturbances associated with earthquake and volcanic activity
  • Accurate quake forecasts made possible (RUVR, Apr 4, 2012) | 正確な地震予測が可能に
    The "TwinSat” satellite will send all the information it gathers to the land based stations. This is a pilot project for now. It will come into full operation in 2018-2019, but countries that are vulnerable to quakes are already showing high interest in it.
  • The problem of the transition zone of the satellites in the "micro" (Novosti Kosmonavtiki, No 5, 2012)
    By the beginning of spring examination Space Cluster "Skolkovo" has passed a draft system to predict earthquakes from space. To solve the problem need to launch a dozen satellites that will record changes in the ionosphere. The project employs specialists of the Institute of Earth Physics, Space Science Laboratory Myullardskoy University College (London) and the Institute of Space and solar research of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences.
  • POLAR2012 (IZMIRAN, May 22-26, 2012)
    19. Sergeev I.YU., Chmyrev V.M., Nesterov B.F.
    TwinSat - detection of precursors of natural disasters through observation of their effects in the ionosphere and magnetosphere of the Earth

    Parameters measured by satellites TwinSat-1M and TwinSat-1N:

  • quasi-electric field vector;
  • spectral and wave characteristics of six components of the electromagnetic field in ULF / ELF (0.5-500 Hz) range;
  • the range and sample waveforms of the electric field in the VLF / LF (0.5-300 kHz) range, the variation of the amplitude and phase of VLF signals of terrestrial / bass transmitters;
  • the range and sample waveforms of electromagnetic fields in the VHF band (22-48 MHz);
  • variations in the parameters of thermal and excess thermal plasma (0.3-20 eV);
  • energy distribution of the flow of electrons and ions in the range 0,3-300 eV two directions;
  • lightning activity in the areas of ground truth (optical measurement).
  • News & Activities (Geoscan)
    October 9-12, 2012: TwinSat project has been presented by Prof. Valery Sorokin at Japan International Aerospace 2012 Exhibition.

    October 15-16, 2012: Prof. Valery Sorokin has presented the TwinSat Project at Workshop in JAXA Tsukuba Space Center (15th October) and at Workshop in JAXA Chofu Aerospace Center (16th October). He also had a meeting in Tokyo with Ryoko KIKUCHI - Japan astronaut, journalist covering space cooperation between Japan and Russia.

    * ISTC facilitates development of relations between JAXA and Russian R&D. Visit to JAXA. (ISTC) | Japan Aerospace 2012 | UNISEC Report
  • The satellites will be to predict earthquakes (Sk)
    This project is being developed in the fund "Skolkovo". Researchers concluded that the information on the activity of the earth's crust, and falls into the ionosphere.

    Two satellites will fly one after another to obtain information from the ionosphere and transmit it to the Earth. This will help the research and will be useful for commercial purposes. For example, information from the satellites will certainly appeal to insurance companies, experts believe.

  • TWINSAT project profile (Geoscan)
    Until now there was only one dedicated space mission on the search for electromagnetic and plasma disturb-ances initiated in outer space by earthquake preparation processes. It was French DEMETER mission terminated in December 2010 after successful completing its research program. No any plans for further development of this program were announced. Preparation of several other earthquake related research projects was declared in dif-ferent countries including UNAMSAT-3 (Mexico), Quakesat (Stanford University nanosatellite program, USA), Esper-ia (Italy), OMIR (Kazakhstan) and CSES (China). We argue that these projects do not comprise payloads that are suf-ficient for a thorough study of the precursor signals. In Russian Federation at present there are no special-purpose space projects destined for investigation of earthquake precursors from space. As accompanying scientific results, some data on the disturbances related to earthquakes can be obtained from the satellites of IONOZOND space complex to be launched on orbits in 2012 and 2013.
  • 電離層、火山活動、低周波… 地震の“予兆”…どう捉える?(Mr. サンデー)

    検証‥大地震はいつ来るのか? 地震「予兆」どう向... 投稿者 tvpickup

    © Fuji Television Network, inc. All rights reserved.
  • Generation of Seismic-Related DC Electric Fields and Lithosphere-Atmosphere-Ionosphere Coupling (Modern Applied Science)
    Valery Sorokin, Masashi Hayakawa
  • Future Missions Challenge Worshop 2013 (CEOI)
    TwinSat (Dave Walton, UCL)
  • Detection and Monitoring of Earthquake Precursors: TwinSat, a Russia-UK Satellite Project (Advances in Space Research)
    Vitaly Chmyrev, Alan Smith, Dhiren Kataria, Boris Nesterov, Christopher Owen, Peter Sammonds, Valery Sorokine, Filippos Vallianatos

    * Most Downloaded Advances in Space Research Articles: 3. Detection and monitoring of earthquake precursors: TwinSat, a Russia–UK satellite project
  • Market Magazine Spring 2014 (Lloyds)
    Scientists can identify earthquake signatures from electromagnetic and thermal activity prior to a major event. And they are now working to develop that understanding into a predictive capability. The UK and Russia, for example, are partnering on a joint initiative that will send satellites into orbit to monitor changes in electromagnetic activity – and hopefully enable scientists to pinpoint the location and time of a strike.
    Dhiren Kataria, Head of In-situ Detection Systems at UCL’s Mullard Space Science Laboratory, explains the technology behind the TwinSat Project: “During the earthquake preparation phase, there are a number of things happening on the surface of the earth that propel electromagnetic signals into the environment. You can catch these signals using plasma sensors and electromagnetic field sensors from space with the advantage that satellites provide global coverage as opposed to ground-based sensors.”
    The challenge is then to isolate this data from similar signatures created by solar storms and human activity, and develop a communications network that can issue effective warnings to areas at risk throughout the world. The goal is to predict an earthquake with a magnitude upwards of six, hours and even days before it happens. However, says Kataria: “In order to build that capability and not make false predictions, there is a considerable amount of work to be done.”
  • International Partnerships (UCL)
    As a result, a proposal for a very low cost space mission involving a Russian micro satellite and a UK nano satellite has been developed to launch in 2017 and has won initial funding from the UK and Russia. The project was a finalist for the Katerva Sustainability Awards in 2011.
  • ST03 - Space Weather and Seismic Events: Plasma-Neutral-Wave-Field Coupling (AOGS2014)
    The Detection of Earthquake Signals in the Ionosphere Using a Two Satellite Approach
    Alan SMITH#+, Dhiren KATARIA
    Mullard Space Science Laboratory, University College London, United Kingdom
    #Corresponding author: +Presenter

    There is a growing body of evidence that shortly before an earthquake an interaction between the lithosphere, atmosphere and ionosphere can occur which leads to tangible and measurable changes. A satellite missions have been flow (most notably Demeter) and observations made which strongly support this position. Moreover, increasing plausible physical models now exist which give credibility to its concept.
    Nevertheless detection of changes in the ionosphere in the mix of a range of other natural phenomena (e.g. from Solar Weather) is difficult. Missions such as Cluster have been able to distinguish between spatial and temporal phenomena through the use of multiple, similar satellites flown in formation. By using two co-orbiting satellites geo-located signals can be separated from features moving in the ionosphere and also features synchronised to the sun direction, such as those associated with the magnetosphere.
    An in-orbit demonstration of this two satellite technique is needed if we are to progress towards a global earthquake prediction service. Proposed here, based on an early TwinSat concept, is such a demonstration mission. By using very small satellites the cost can be kept low. The multi-satellite QB50 mission has also been used to inform this mission concept. The satellite payload would comprise particle sensors and a nadir-pointing, IR, low resolution imager. Satellite orbit and payload trade studies will be described in the paper.
    This paper describes the science rationale, spacecraft, payload, and operations, and goes on to set some parameters for a global system.
  • A film about the technology of earthquake prediction of "Planet from Space" will be shown on TV Culture December 24 (Sk)
    December 24 at 20:50 Moscow time in the series of programs "Tomorrow Never Dies" will be shown the film "Earthquake Forecast, which is not". The announcement of the film:

    Victims of the earthquake in the Italian town - L'Aquila in April 2009 could have been avoided if its inhabitants and the authorities trusted to prevent the engineer Giampaolo Giuliani, and if seismologists do not ignore him long-term studies of gas - radon, at a concentration which is already necessary to sound the alarm about the impending catastrophe. For inaccurate forecasting disaster, scientists seismologists, who believed people returning to their homes were on the Bench ...

    The filmmakers met in different parts of the world with those scientists who went unbeaten road in geophysics and seismology, who found his original method of forecasting, and perhaps among them are those who for the first time to say: we know how to predict earthquakes.

    In the film: Vladimir Kosobokov, a leading researcher at the Institute of Earthquake Prediction Theory and Mathematical Geophysics RAS; Giampaolo Giuliani, engineer-physicist; Mauro Dolce, head of the Department of the seismic risk of the Civil Protection of Italy; Sergei Pulinets, chief researcher at the Institute of Space Research; Dimitar Uzunov, a geophysicist, Chapman University, USA; Arianna Giuliani daughter Giampaolo Giuliani; Bruno Sabatini, a writer, a resident of L'Aquila.

    Three members of our team are involved in this film there are shots in the Startup Village

    * Earthquake Prediction is Possible!? (S. A. Pulinets, D. P. Ouzounov, D. V. Davidenko) | Planet from Space, LLC (Sk)
  • Electrodynamic Coupling of Lithosphere - Atmosphere - Ionosphere of the Earth (Nova Science Publishers)
    Authors: Valery Sorokin, Vitaly Chmyrev, and Masashi Hayakawa (Pushkov Institute of Terrestrial Magnetism, Ionosphere and Radio Wave Propagation (IZMIRAN), Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Troitsk, Russia, and others)

    Book Description:
    This monograph reviews the updated models of the influence of earthquake (EQ) preparation processes on the state of near-ground atmosphere and the ionosphere through the electric field and currents occurring in the global atmosphere–ionosphere electric circuit. An extensive comparison of results of satellite- and ground-based observations of DC electric fields, plasma parameters and electromagnetic wave perturbations prior to an EQ is made as a validation criterion of the models. It is shown that the most complete explanation of pre-EQ phenomena excited in the ionosphere and atmosphere and their interconnection can be provided by our electrodynamic model based on DC electric field generation due to the injection of charged aerosols into the atmosphere. An important feature of this model is that various EQ precursors are shown to be attributed just to a single cause, namely a perturbation of the conductivity electric current in the global circuit by the injection of charged aerosols into the atmosphere during seismic activity enhancement. This book is dedicated to scientists and researchers working in the field of atmospheric and ionospheric effects of large-scale natural and technological disasters. It also analyzes the development of methods for their forecasting with the use of space, aerial and ground-based observations. It will also be of potential interest to students specializing in space science and physics of the atmosphere as well as the lithosphere-atmosphere-ionosphere coupling. (Imprint: Nova)
  • Electrodynamic model of atmospheric and ionospheric processes on the eve of an earthquake (Geomagnetism and Aeronomy, September 2015)
    V. M. Sorokin, Yu. Ya. Ruzhin
  • This technology is designed to predict big earthquakes and save lives, but it can’t get funding (Quartz, 2016.4.21)
    Why is something that could potentially save thousands of lives not getting funding? Luckett offers two hypotheses.

    “Earthquake prediction has been something of a dirty phrase among seismologists,” he says. “There has been, you can say, quite a bit of quackery in the name of science. There are people who claim they use their dogs to predict earthquakes. And many such hypotheses have received more credence than they should have.” This has put off serious seismologists from dabbling in the field, and it’s no longer “fashionable” to fund such research.

    Second, “the U.K. does not have an earthquake threat,” says Luckett. Other countries, such as the U.S. and Japan, have a more vested interest in testing the idea, but they either don’t have the expertise or haven’t invested the money to develop it. (We have reached out to the UKSA for comment and will update this story if needed.)
  • CubeSats: The Earthquake Prediction Tool We’ve Been Waiting For? (, 2016.9.7)
    But numerous recent studies, including two published in the past six months, have argued that small CubeSats built with simple electromagnetic measuring tools would be a relatively inexpensive way to get the data needed to do this kind of science correctly and solve the controversy once and for all. Funded by the Mitsubishi Foundation, Oyama formed the “Ionosphere Precursor Study Task Group” and, in a March 2016 study, argued that a constellation of microsatellites would be instrumental for monitoring activity above Japan. The benefit to a fleet is that they could cover more area and triangulate signals to better remove noise and to pinpoint an epicenter.

    Another paper, this one by Valery Korepanov of the Lviv Centre of the Institute for Space Research in Ukraine in the journal Astronautica Astra, recommended a fleet of at least two CubeSats. A similar mission, named TwinSat, was proposed by both British and Russian researchers in 2012 and again in 2014 but was denied funding both times.
  • Stand of IPE RAS at the II International specialized exhibition "Import substitution-2016" 12/09/2016
    At the stand of the Institute of Physical Problems of the Russian Academy of Sciences were presented: the development, systems and technologies for monitoring hazardous natural and man-caused processes in order to ensure the integrated safety of critical technical facilities of the fuel and energy complex and extended facilities; Systems and software solutions for the collection and processing of a wide range of geophysical data; Instrument development for the study of geophysical fields from space.

    * Institute of Physics of the Earth. O.Yu. Shmidt RAS, FGBUN (Крокус Экспо)
  • Launch UK brings together UK commercial space sector (21 February 2017)
    The UK Space Agency and partners brought together government and industry to enable satellite launches from the UK by 2020.

    * Launch UK brought together potential spaceports, the space industry and vehicle operators to discuss the UK’s ambition for enabling launch
  • Down close and personal: New project to run satellites nearer to Earth (6 March 2017)

    “Dhiren Kataria, the project lead at UCL MSSL said “This is an exciting project bringing together materials and propulsion research, space aerodynamics and in-situ test and diagnostics systems, and is anticipated to deliver a major leap in the state-of-the-art.”

    * How low can you go? New project to bring satellites nearer to Earth
  • The Lifesaving Potential of Underwater Earthquake Monitors (Mar 17, 2017)
    Dhiren Kataria, one of the leaders of the proposed project, which has been dubbed TwinSat, hopes that using a large enough number of satellites should allow researchers to separate out the seismic from the non-seismic events. Multiple satellites would also provide extensive global coverage, because each would orbit the earth every 90 minutes, he adds.

    The TwinSat team has previously failed to get funding from the U.K. Space Agency, but it plans to resubmit its proposal in the next few months. If approved, the team could launch its satellites within three years, Kataria claims. To keep costs low, the satellites are designed to be small and use some off-the-shelf commercial components.
  • UK Earth Observation Technology Strategy (30 November 2017)
    Obj. 2 Innovation: Keep the UK at the forefront of EO technology development by supporting new and innovative ideas that offer tangible benefit to future missions
    * "ТвинСат"
    Wideband Ionospheric Sounder CubeSat Experiment (WISCER)

  • Dstl Investigates the earth's upper atmosphere 18 January 2018
    In a world first, a new experiment to study the effects of space weather on global communications is being launched by the UK and US governments.

    The Wideband Ionospheric Sounder CubeSat Experiment (WISCER) project builds on work carried out by Dstl and the University of Birmingham, which was partly funded by the UK Space Agency. It forms part of a joint programme with the Naval Research Laboratory in the United States (US). Plans are now in place to launch two CubeSat satellites during 2020/21, each with a UK and a US payload.

    The UK payload will contain a WISCER antenna and waveform generator that will transmit a signal to a bespoke ground signal receiver, assessing the impact of the ionosphere on the signal. The US payload will measure how electron density changes with altitude. The collaboration offers the opportunity to generate data cost effectively, with both countries potentially sharing results.

    * Oxford Space Systems to provide innovative antenna for US-UK atmospheric mission (OSS) | The Wideband Ionospheric Sounder Cubesat Experiment (WISCER) (URSI)


  • TWINSAT | TWINSAT project profile | Presentation to Insurance Community (Geoscan)
    There are few foreign patents related to application of space technologies for earthquake forecasting. Most interesting are US Patent 6288396 of November 9, 2001 (“Satellite thermal infrared technique for short-term and impending prediction of strong earthquakes”) and Patent 6873265 of March 29, 2005 (“Satellite and ground system for detection and forecasting of earthquakes”). The last is based on the results of satellite observations of ELF elec-tromagnetic radiation over the earthquake center before earthquakes published by our team members (Serebry-akova et al., Geophys. Res. Lett. 19, 91-94, 1992; Chmyrev et al., J. Atmos. Solar-Terr. Phys. 59, 967-973, 1997). American patent 7777797 of 20 October 2007 (“Method and system for prediction”) uses the ionosphere radio to-mography method for detection of the disturbances related to earthquakes. Applicability of these patents is ques-tionable because each of them uses only one parameter for prediction. Russian patents on the short-term earth-quake prediction are based on the analysis of seismic and acoustic signals (see, for example patents 2130195 and 2181205), seismo-synoptic disturbances (patent 2206110) and the variations of the parameters of radio waves in the Erth-ionosphere wave guide (patent 2037162). Russian patent 2092877 (“Method for prediction of catastro-phes, caused by accumulation of energy in the Earth’s spheres”) suggests to use the measurements of low fre-quency electromagnetic waves and high energy particle fluxes on high altitude satellites for discrimination of pre-cursors. This method is not productive because it does not allow localizing the source of the disturbances. Detailed description of existing patents in this field is presented in the Report on Project Stage “0” Grant, an Agreement #7, Space cluster.

  • JSC "Technologies GEOSKAN" | Skolkovo Japan (Skolkovo)
    TwinSat is a two-stage space project aimed at developing effective and practical use of space and terrestrial technologies for early detection and monitoring of a large magnitude earthquake precursors in order to improve the accuracy and reliability of short-term prediction of time and location of future earthquakes. Phase 1 includes the development, launch into orbit and a 2-year operation of the two experimental satellites, micro satellite TwinSat-1M and nano satellite TwinSat-1N, in coordination with the accompanying ground geophysical observations at selected landfills in seismically active areas. Satellites and ground stations will carry out registration of signals, known as precursors of earthquakes, and the search for new, not previously observed, the precursors. The innovative scheme, which utilizes two spacecraft with a controlled distance and exchange of information between them, provides data on the spatial structure and dynamic characteristics of the phenomena, which will significantly improve the reliability of the selection signals associated with earthquakes, from a variety of other natural phenomena in the ionosphere. This step completes the development of the concept and rationale for the structure created in the next phase constellation for reliable earthquake prediction taking into account the risks of false alarm and the ambiguity of the forecast. Phase 2 focuses on the development and commissioning of the working system detection and monitoring of earthquake precursors in the space, air and ground segments as well as complete infrastructure to ensure systems work in general and the provision of early warning. The innovative program benefits are determined by many TwinSat disciplinary approach to the study of earthquake precursors and the development of a combined (land, air and space) the system of early detection and monitoring of earthquake precursors.
  • Project "Signal – TS" (SRTI-BAS)
    Scientific and technical justification of experiments, development of instrumentation set and software for investigation of seismic related electric fields and wave emissions in the ionosphere by micro and nano satellites. International scientific project between SSТRI - BAS and SRI-RAS Russian Academy of Sciences - (2011-2015).
    B. Boychev


  • Cosmonauts: Birth of the Space Age (Science Museum)

  • UK and Japan commit to greater collaboration on space (News Distribution Service, 10 April 2012) | 英国宇宙庁及び英国外務省との宇宙分野の協力に関する覚書(外務省)
  • Earthquake Prediction From Space (SSTL, 17 June 2011)
  • UK Space Agency to launch Britain's first CubeSat (UK Space Agency, 21 July 2010)
  • Satellite launched successfully with POISE on board (Shrewsbury School, July 2009)
  • Plan for quake 'warning system' (BBC, 5 June 2008)
  • Earthquake Monitoring from Space (UK Space Conference) | Earthquake Prediction From Space - Dr. Stuart Eves (, 2008)
    "The evidence suggests we're now crossing the boundary in terms of technology readiness" Stuart Eves, SSTL

  • Earthquake Forecast Science Research with a Small Satellite (Small Satellite Conference 2002)
    [Predvestnik | Russia]