Monday, August 17, 2009
Nasa drops 'spiderbots' into volatile volcano
Nasa scientists have placed about a dozen monitoring ‘spiderbots’ inside the volcanic crater in Mount St Helens in the US, which are high-tech devices that can detect an impending eruption. Mount St Helens is one of the most active volcanoes in the US. According to a report in National Geographic News, about a dozen so-called Spiders were placed on Mount St Helens in July. The volcano had seen activity in 2004. The pods, designed to go where no human can, were lowered by helicopter inside and around the volcano center. The pods form a virtual wireless network and communicate with each other and a Nasa satellite called Earth Observing-1, or EO-1. Each pod contains a seismometer, a GPS receiver, an infrared sounder to sense explosions, and a lightning detector.