First mobile NASA app and QuakeSim share agency's 2012 Software Award

Sep 21, 2012 by Sonja Alexander, Rachel Hoover And Alan Buis
The total ground deformation caused by a simulated magnitude 8.0 earthquake on the San Andreas fault. This is the largest event from a 30,000 year interacting earthquake fault simulation using QuakeSim's Virtual California. Instead of mimicking an exact series of observed events, Virtual California simulations create a large catalog of possible earthquake sequences. Image Credit - University of California, Davis

NASA's first mobile application and software that models the behavior of earthquake faults to improve earthquake forecasting and our understanding of earthquake processes are co-winners of NASA's 2012 Software of the Year Award. The award recognizes innovative software technologies that significantly improve the agency's exploration of space and maximize scientific discovery on Earth.

Software engineers at NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif., developed the NASA App for including the iPhone, iPod touch, and Android phones and tablets. The NASA App currently has more than 9.6 million user installations and receives more than three million hits per day on average.

The NASA App gathers the agency's online content, breaking news, image and video collections, news and image feeds, social media accounts, and more in one easy-to-use location that aids public access to science, technology and engineering discoveries. The app's creators are program manager Jerry Colen, software engineer John Freitas and new media specialist Charles Du.

QuakeSim, developed at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, Calif., is a comprehensive, state-of-the-art tool for simulating and understanding processes and improving forecasting. Initiated in 2002, QuakeSim uses NASA remote sensing and other earthquake-related data to simulate and model the behavior of faults in 3-D both individually and as part of complex, interacting systems. This provides long-term histories of fault behavior that can be used for statistical evaluation. Quakesim also is used to identify regions of increased earthquake probabilities called hotspots.

Studies have shown QuakeSim to be the most accurate tool of its kind for intermediate earthquake forecasting and detecting the subtle, transient deformation in Earth's crust that precedes and follows earthquakes. Its varied applications include scientific studies, developing earthquake hazard maps that can be used for targeted retrofitting of earthquake-vulnerable structures, providing input for damage and loss estimates after earthquakes, guiding disaster response efforts, and studying fluid changes in reservoirs, among others.

Explore further: New USGS report: Coastal erosion threatens northern Alaska

More information: For more information about NASA's Inventions and Contributions Board, visit: icb.nasa.gov

Related Stories

New NASA App 2.0 Released For iPhone, iPod Touch

May 22, 2012

NASA released Monday an updated version of the free NASA App for iPhone and iPod touch. The NASA App 2.0 includes several new features and a completely redesigned user interface that improves the way people can explore and ...

Earthquake Forecast Program Has Amazing Success Rate

Oct 05, 2004

A NASA-funded earthquake forecast program has an amazing track record. Published in 2002, the Rundle-Tiampo Forecast has accurately forecast the locations of 15 of California's 16 largest earthquakes this decad ...

New from NASA, an iPhone application

Oct 23, 2009

NASA is coming to the iPhone. The US space agency announced on Friday that it has created a free NASA application for the popular Apple smartphone and the iPod Touch.

Mexico quake studies uncover surprises for California

Dec 16, 2010

New technologies developed by NASA and other agencies are revealing surprising insights into a major earthquake that rocked parts of the American Southwest and Mexico in April, including increased potential ...

NASA Airborne Radar Studies Haiti Earthquake Faults

Jan 27, 2010

In response to the disaster in Haiti on Jan. 12, NASA has added a series of science overflights of earthquake faults in Haiti and the Dominican Republic on the island of Hispaniola to a previously scheduled ...

Recommended for you

Creating a stopwatch for volcanic eruptions

11 hours ago

We've long known that beneath the scenic landscapes of Yellowstone National Park sleeps a supervolcano with a giant chamber of hot, partly molten rock below it.

Can lightning strike an indoor pool?

22 hours ago

Two swimming pool weather policies have surprised me in recent years. One was when I showed up to swim laps at an outdoor pool as it was beginning to drizzle. "Come on in," I was told; as long as there was no lightning, the ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.