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Dr. Friedmann Freund & Brian Shiro, Tuesday, 6-5-12 June 6, 2012

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Dr. Friedmann Freund & Brian Shiro, Tuesday, 6-5-12


Guests:  Dr. Friedmann Freund, Brian Shiro.  Topics:  Earthquake forecasting & space resources.  You are invited to comment, ask questions, & discuss the Space Show program/guest(s) on the Space Show blog, https://thespaceshow.wordpress.com. Comments, questions, & any discussion must be relevant & applicable to Space Show programming. Transcripts of Space Show programs are not permitted without prior written consent from The Space Show (even if for personal use) & are a violation of the Space Show copyright. We welcomed Dr. Friedmann Freund & the return of Brian Shiro to the program to discuss earthquake forecasting & analysis using space based resources.  During our first segment, Dr. Freund & Mr. Shiro outlined the basis of their research & we talked about the use of both terrestrial & space based tools to aid the process.  We talked about satellite detection of the Ion currents & changes in the ionosphere & how this data is correlated with terrestrial data.  We talked about the direction earthquake prediction was heading & were told why the use of “prediction” was not preferable. Instead, the more accurate & useful term is forecasting.  Also mentioned was a private company with a series of ground stations, QuakeFinder (www.quakefinder.com).  Our guest talked about how this private sector commercial data gets integrated into the public sector data base & why their information is both valuable & important.  Questions were asked about the importance of the ionosphere but we also learned that the currents & waves start deep in the Earth, work their way to the surface & then can be detected as they move upward through the various atmospheric layers to the ionosphere.  Our guests explained how our space resources actually track & monitor this information.  Another point made was that we do not have real time information in advance of an event though if we had swarms of satellites or a satellite network designed to monitor areas 24/7, we would be able to be present with “eyes” before & when an event happened.  Funding issues were discussed & we heard that much of the research discussed on our program is considered “out of the box” & difficult to fund by the traditional process along with getting projects peer reviewed.  I asked about the potential of the philanthropic model for this research as it has come up on several Space Show programs.  Our guests had much to say about this potential source of funding.

In our second segment, we talked about progress being made between traditional geophysical researchers & those doing the out of the box work such as our guests.  As it turns out, there is progress on this front & Dr. Freund updated us on it.  We switched to the suborbital field as I met Dr. Freund at the recently held suborbital conference & our discussions over lunch formed the basis for this program. There does appear to be sufficient commercial suborbital research opportunities with this developing seismic research field. Next, we talked about animal behavior for earthquake forecasting & both our guests told us anecdotal stories. We learned how Dr. Freund is correlating animal behavior earthquake research with the scientific research. Toward the end of the program, Emma in NYC who asked several questions, wanted to know about Mars quakes & Moon quakes.  Our guests talked about earthquake research throughout the solar system & what we know & don’t know.  We learned that there are no geophysical research instruments providing direct information to us from Mars or anywhere in space because of the high cost of the hardware, the quantity of research tools needed, & the complex & costly operating expenses.  Other discussion topics included the possibility of mitigating an earthquake, various research projects such as the USGS Parkfield Earthquake Experiment & the EarthScope Project.  Please post your comments/questions on the blog.

If you want to email either of our guests, do so through me & I will forward your note.