SOURCE: QuakeFinder; Stellar Solutions, Inc.

QuakeFinder; Stellar Solutions, Inc.

July 12, 2011 15:22 ET

QuakeFinder and the SETI Institute Begin Collaboration to Advance Earthquake Forecasting

Partnership Will Pursue Both Basic and Applied Science to Accelerate Development Toward a Practical Warning System

PALO ALTO, CA--(Marketwire - Jul 12, 2011) - QuakeFinder, the humanitarian R&D division of Stellar Solutions, and the SETI Institute announced today that the two organizations will collaborate to accelerate research toward a practical solution for short-term (days to weeks) forecasting of major earthquakes based on electromagnetic precursory signals. This work builds upon the laboratory experiments of Institute researcher Dr. Friedemann Freund and on the field work of QuakeFinder collecting earthquake data and correlating it with Freund's results.

Accelerating the pace of this research requires additional financial support. The SETI Institute's 501(c)3 status will allow foundations, corporations, and individuals to make tax deductible contributions that support expansion of QuakeFinder's data collection network and further experiments on the fundamental physics that underlie the work. The two organizations will also take advantage of synergies in their work recording and analyzing massive data sets to identify elusive information.

QuakeFinder has been recording electromagnetic data associated with earthquakes since 2000. It has built an extensive network of instruments and a data processing infrastructure to record, filter, and analyze the massive quantity of data collected daily. QuakeFinder's work has revealed a pattern of ultra-low frequency electromagnetic signals starting two weeks before a major earthquake, and matching closely the effects discovered by Dr. Freund in the laboratory. This pattern has been shown to exist for two significant earthquakes (M5.4, M6.2), and for a cluster of somewhat smaller quakes (high M4) that occurred within 10 miles of QuakeFinder instruments. QuakeFinder and Freund also collaborated on a field experiment to show that the same signals are present when a 7-ton boulder is split.

Dr. Freund has been investigating the electrical properties of rocks for decades. His experiments, motivated by the search for the origins of life, led to the discovery that rocks under stress produce electronic charge carriers. His theory helps us understand how this phenomenon may produce effects observable at the earth's surface and in the atmosphere. These and related phenomena are promising candidates for the basis of a practical earthquake forecasting solution.

About QuakeFinder

QuakeFinder® is the world's leading private research organization focused on creating a system for forecasting major earthquakes. Operating as a humanitarian R&D division of Stellar Solutions and funded primarily by Stellar Solutions, with grants from NASA and donations from the public, QuakeFinder has developed the science, technology, infrastructure and expertise that are the foundation for a practical earthquake forecasting solution.

About the SETI Institute

The mission of the SETI Institute is to explore, understand and explain the origin, nature and prevalence of life in the universe. The SETI Institute is a private, nonprofit organization dedicated to scientific research, education and public outreach. Founded in November 1984, the SETI Institute began operations on February 1, 1985. Today it employs nearly 150 scientists, educators and support staff.

Research at the Institute is anchored by three centers: the Center for SETI Research, the Carl Sagan Center for the Study of Life in the Universe and the Center for Education and Public Outreach. Dr. Jill Tarter leads the Center for SETI Research as Bernard M. Oliver Chair for SETI. Dr. David Morrison is the Director for the Carl Sagan Center for the Study of Life in the Universe. Edna DeVore leads our Center for Education and Public Outreach.

About Stellar Solutions, Inc.

Stellar Solutions is a global provider of system engineering expertise that distinguishes itself by satisfying customers' critical needs on diverse defense and intelligence related projects, international and commercial satellite programs, and NASA's science missions. Stellar's high caliber team of aerospace professionals has decades of applied mission experience. Stellar has offices in all the major space development and operational hubs: California, Colorado and the Washington, DC area, and also in London through an affiliate, Stellar Solutions Aerospace Ltd., a global aerospace engineering services company.

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