This Volcano is Getting Wi-Fi

Jake Rossen
Qwake via Facebook
Qwake via Facebook / Qwake via Facebook

When a volcano earns the nickname “The Mouth of Hell,” it’s probably not the quiet type. The Masaya Volcano, located in Managua, Nicaragua, has spewed up bubbling lava three times in 10 years and is currently in the process of regurgitating even more.

In order to better predict what Masaya will do next, researchers have developed a novel idea: They’re installing Wi-Fi.

Over the next two weeks, the technological firm Qwake is slated to dispatch a team of volcano divers to install 56 sensors 1200 feet into The Mouth of Hell. The sensors, which will carry a wireless signal, will measure atmospheric pressure, temperature, humidity, and carbon dioxide to try and assess when Masaya might act up again. The data will be accessible to developers who will look to write an algorithm that can zero in on the predictability of the volcano’s moods. If it works, it could hail the introduction of early warning systems for the more than 1500 active volcanoes around the world.

Obviously, this is no conventional surveillance installation; the sensors will be encased in heat-resistant black boxes. Qwake’s "volcanauts" include a drone pilot, a former astronaut, and cable riggers. You can follow updates on the project via Snapchat and Facebook.  

[h/t Vocativ]