XXXIII Energy Knowledge Network Press Review – Adrian
May 3rd, 2010, CNN
‘Smart dust’ particles are small sensors which can be used to provide large amount of data. It is a new way to learn about ourselves, our cities and the environment that might help us live more efficiency.
‘Smart dust’, a very small sensor that monitors everything on earth will have many advantages for people and environment o
Fitted with computing power, sensing equipment, wireless radios and long battery life, the smart dust would make observations and relay mountains of real-time data about people, cities and the natural environment. o
The wireless devices would check to see if ecosystems are healthy, detect earthquakes more rapidly, predict traffic patterns and monitor energy use. o
These would provide more real time information, which can help combat huge problems like climate change and biodiversity loss. •
Dreamt of first by researcher Kris Pister in the 1990s, Hewlett-Packard will be the first to make it o
Hewlett-Packard, recently announced it's working on a project it calls the "Central Nervous System for the Earth”. o
HP has made plans with Royal Dutch Shell to install 1 million matchbook-size sensors to aid in oil exploration by measuring rock vibrations and movement. o
Up to half of oil wells dug turn up dry, so this technology will help oil companies know more about what they are getting into before punching holes in the ground. •
Though more advanced than current sensors, ‘smart dust’ still has some issues to be sorted out o
They are smaller, more portable than other sensors and are also wireless. o
However technology hasn't advanced far enough to manufacture sensors on the scale of millimeters for commercial use. o
They can also pose a huge privacy problem because of their small size and large numbers.
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