Detecting Sea Level Changes to Predict Tsunamis

As part of a sophisticated Tsunami Early Warning System (TeWS) in the Philippines, Senix ToughSonic ultrasonic sensors play a key part in detecting changes in sea level. To customize ToughSonic 50 ultrasonic sensors for this first-of-its-kind water level monitoring system, Senix engineers worked together with the Philippines Advanced Science and Technology Institute (ASTI).

Tide gauge provides sea level measurement. A customized ultrasonic sensor is forward of the solar panel.

Tide gauge provides sea level measurement. A customized ultrasonic sensor is forward of the solar panel.

Every ToughSonic 50 sensor is integrated into a tide gauge platform which also includes ASTI-designed wet and dry sensors, wireless communications equipment, and a solar power system. To create the largest and most sophisticated Tsunami warning system in the world, hundreds of these tide gauge platforms are integrated. This system can also detect storm surges from tropical storms and typhoons.

Manila Trench Tsunami Risk

The impetus for the TeWS system is an earthquake-prone zone west of the Philippine island of Luzon, the Manila Trench, and it reaches depths of 17700 ft.

The Philippines Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) has predicted that a strong earthquake in the Manila Trench could trigger tsunamis with waves of up to 32 ft high that could hit the populous Manila metropolitan area in under one hour.

Ultrasonic Sensors Measure Sea Level

The ultrasonic sensors identify any unusual rise and fall in the sea level. The data is logged on each platform and then sent in real-time to a data-receiving center operated by PHIVOLCS where, using data visualization, interpretation and decision software, data from all of the sensors are consolidated and analyzed.

The analysis results can be sent to local government agencies in near real-time. This means that officials can sound warning sirens so that people in high-risk areas can move to higher ground.

Crew works on a tide gauge platform in the Tsunami Early Warning System.

Crew works on a tide gauge platform in the Tsunami Early Warning System.

Rugged Waterproof Sensors Needed

The ASTI selected the Senix ToughSonic 50 ultrasonic sensor due to ToughSonic’s unique combination of flexibility and durability. It was also chosen because of the personal service provided by Senix engineers through the design and research process.

ToughSonic 316 stainless steel housings, IP68 immersion rating, and epoxy potting are perfect for harsh marine environments. Senix worked with ASTI to customize the ToughSonic 50 to adhere to their unique cabling and interface needs.

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by Senix Corporation.

For more information on this source, please visit Senix Corporation.

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