What happens in SIMA is this:
earthquake occurs, perhaps on the opposite
side of the globe.
several minutes, the seismometers note a very slight ground
action, which is the seismic
signal from this event.
motion generates a small electrical current that is sent to
an amplifier, which boosts it by a factor of 10,000 times or
amplifier sends the enhanced signal to a TINI microprocessor
that converts it and speaks over the Internet to a server computer
on the SIMA network. (Each seismometer’s amplifier is
from the server is broadcast over the Internet and can be viewed
by SIMA clients anywhere in the world.
Joe describes one element in this chain as “a tiny microprocessor,” you
may think he means a very small one. But it turns out that its
brand-name is TINI—and its capabilities are huge. Joe has
two at work in his lab right now: TINI-1, which connects to his
server at the College, and TINI-2, which sends the signal to
a server in the Czech Republic.
computer code that made the Czech server possible was written
in 2002 by Michael Sands ’02, a precocious student who
entered the College at 14 and graduated at 18. (He now works
as an applications programmer for Essent Corp. in Easton.) It
was then fine-tuned by David Skoupil, a former Merrill Scholar
(Czech exchange student) who teaches computer science at Palacky
University in Olomouc, Czech Republic. David returns to Moravian
every summer to work with gifted high school science students
at an educational camp run by Johns Hopkins University at the
now has a small network—just two stations—located
in the eastern Pennsylvania/New Jersey area but would like to
have widely separated stations all over the world. He has worked
with Richard Kroll of the geology/meteorology department of Kean
University, Union, N.J., as a “beta test site” to
check the components and long-distance reliability of the system.
“ It works!” Joe says. “Both stations have been online for
more than a year.”
October, he and Kroll presented the project at the conference
of the Geological Association of New Jersey, which received it
favorably. An article by Joe and Michael Sands, describing the
project and the software, has been accepted for publication in
the March issue of the Journal of Geoscience Education.
Joe says he is proud that both independent study projects by his students have
been published in professional journals. The project is being continued with
a current student, Tyler Worman ’07, who may also factor into the full
story of SIMA whenever it is written.
For additional information on the genesis of the SIMA project, see: http://home.moravian.edu/users/phys/