This is with great pride and big satisfaction that we announce the breaking news that one of our FINESSE partners – University of Alcala – has just been awarded a prestigious ERC Proof-of-Concept (PoC) Grant to develop a distributed fibre sensing concept for submarine seismic detection.
This is based on the smart idea that all submarine communication cables can be exploited as sensitive distributed hydrophone sensors, on top of their normal telecommunication operations. This way, a dense mesh of sensors is already installed and the interrogation unit has simply to be plugged at one end of the cable. The team of our FINESSE partner Miguel Gonzalez Herraez has already demonstrated the capability to unambiguously detect seismic events using this approach, even at very large distances.
You can obtain more details about the project by reading the ERC press release and even more by watching the embedded video, in which Miguel is giving, with great communicative talents as usual, detailed information of high clarity and relevance. It is particularly satisfying for us to see that our 2 FINESSE ESRs (Luis and Regina) at University of Alcala are visible on this video in an active situation.
This achievement is a major outcome from FINESSE, since it is based on the ultrasensitive distributed fibre sensing technique designated as “phase-OTDR”, which is an important research activity in FINESSE. It is the main research topic of our ESR4 Regina Magalhaes and ESR5 Luis Costa at University of Alcala, in direct relation with this ERC PoC Grant, but also the core research of ESR1 Li Zhang at EPFL. The technique was widely used and studied by ESR 3 Hari Bhatta from Tel-Aviv University and ESR 6 Sergei Mikhailov from VUB during their secondments at University of Alcala and EPFL.
This is a great spotlight on our activities and it has moreover received a special journalistic attention since it is the 1000th ERC PoC Grant that has been awarded.
Let’s congratulate Miguel and his team, with a special focus on our ESRs!
This highlights the relevance and significance of our research programme and the fact that it may benefit to the society at large, with real products creating a safer environment!