Scientist, researchers, law enforcement and many other creative people are finding new ways to utilize GPS technology. This story is one of many examples of the new uses being discovered for the use of GPS Tracking Devices.
Earlier this year, Japan experienced one of its most devastating natural disasters. An earthquake measuring at an astounding 9.0-magnitude occurred on March 11, 2011, just off the eastern coast of Tohoku near the city of Sendai. The thrust created by the earthquake on the ocean floor resulted in a major tsunami, which caused a tremendous amount of destruction along the northern Pacific coast.
The earthquake also triggered a radiation leak and subsequent meltdown that occurred at the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant. The Japanese government called for a mass evacuation of the entire area surrounding the plant.
Prime Minister Noda recently declared an end to the nuclear crisis in Fukushima. In a televised address, he said, “The reactors are stable, which should resolve one big cause of concern for us all.”
For many of the people of Fukushima, the crisis is far from over. More than 160,000 people remain displaced, and even as the government lifts evacuation orders for some communities, many are refusing to return home for fear of radiation. I would also be afraid to return as governments aren’t always honest with their citizens.
In order to help alleviate some of these fears, scientists in Japan have taken a novel approach to measuring the impact of radiation in a forest affected by the nuclear crisis by enlisting the help of the local wild monkeys that live in the forests surrounding the nuclear plant.
Takayuki Takahashi, a professor of robotic technology at Fukushima University, said that his team has been working on a collar fitted with a dosimeter to measure radiation levels that could be fitted to the monkeys before they are released back into the wild. The experimental collar will also be equipped with a GPS tracking device, and attached to as many as three monkeys in the forest in Minami Soma City as soon as February of next year.
The monkeys are expected to wear the GPS-equipped collar for about a month. It will then be detached by the researchers using remote control technology and collected so the data can be analyzed.
“We would like to know how much impact (the radiation has) on the natural world, such as forest, river, underground water and ocean,” Takahashi said. “We will draw the map to show the movement of radioactivity.” The data collected from the GPS tracker will allow scientists to pinpoint the location of the radiation and where it’s the strongest.
While human scientists have been monitoring radiation levels from the air, the use of these GPS-equipped monkey “assistants” will give scientists a clearer picture of conditions on the ground. The project was the brainchild of veterinarian Toshio Mizoguchi, of the Fukushima Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, who wanted to find a way to monitor the effect of radiation on wild animals in the Fukushima area.
The research and data collected through the GPS collars, should help scientists more accurately determine the scope of the radiation in the area.
This is a brilliant idea and hopefully it will result in keeping the Japanese people safe from entering areas where the radiation is at dangerous levels.
Read full story@ landairsea