Seismo-Electromagnetic Satellite Missions

Only from space can we predict earthquakes in the most precise way (Utkin, 1997)

Perhaps the most remarkable outcome of the Ionozond missions was the discovery that
Earthquakes were preceded by electrical waves several hours before they struck,
opening the door to the possibility of predicting earthquakes and thereby saving countless lives
  • The first observations by satellite have been done by Larkina et al. (1983) (DEMETER/CNES)
  • RUSSIAN SPACE WEATHER INITIATIVES (ESA Workshop on Space Weather, 1998)
    It was detected that ionosphere, as a whole, and the phenomenon occuring in it are an indicator of processes in lithosphere. The investigations of electromagnetic effects related to earthquakes at ionosphere altitudes with the use of satellite measurements were initiated. For example, electromagnetic noise in the low frequency range (0.1-20 kHz) were discovered for the first time from "Intercosmos" satellites over the earthquake centres. As a result of observations on board the "OGO 6", Aureol 3 and other satellites many associations with earthquakes were collaborated. In IZMIRAN it was worked out the method of treat, choise and analysis of satellite data for possible prediction of the earthquakes (Migulin, et al., 1983). In the last time it was established, that electromagnetic processes in ionosphere are connected not only with catastrophic manifestations of seismic activity, but also with current processes occurring in the low-frequency emission field, registered on board Intercosmos satellites at its flight above deep lithospheric faults (Migulin, et al., 1997, Larkina, et al., 1998). *
  • Russia Project "Predvestnik" (Novosti Kosmonavtiki, 1994) | 1990 - 2002, Russia - United States (FSUE KB Arsenal)

    © FSUE KB Arsenal

  • IEICE Award: Earthquake Forecast Network by Electron Density Measurement of the Ionosphere (The 5th Satellite Design Contest, 1997)
  • Utilization Plan of the Russian Space Station (Academician Vladimir F. Utkin, 1999)
    We should conduct earth prediction research in cooperation of space and ground observation because there is time of 15 years in the future. That is, it is necessary to make the system to combine the precursory phenomenon of the ground and space. It is also important that many astronauts watch it. No one agrees even if you just propose Mars exploration without doing the research to contribute to the people on the Earth. I am glad to come to Japan where people pay attention to the nature. I wish you the best of luck with everything.
  • Ukraine's Space Program (MDB, 2001)
    In the 1990s Ukraine launched its own original scientific project to study fundamental processes in the ionosphere and magnetosphere of the Earth with the purpose of discovering forerunners of natural disasters, including earthquakes of great magnitude. The project was called Poperedzhennya. Scientists from several Ukrainian institutes and their colleagues from Russia, the United States, Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic intended to conduct detailed measurements of parameters of ionospheric plasma from a spacecraft and simultaneously collect ground observation data, primarily seismic. It this way they hoped to develop a comprehensive idea on the interconnection between seismic and ionospheric processes. However, the project has been suspended in the absence of money. (Warning mission: Present state and development [Negoda et al., 1997])
  • "Valcan" predicts earthquake (Redstar, 2001)
  • Earthquake Forecast from Space (Novosti Kosmonavtiki, 2002)
  • The Problems Of Satellite Monitoring Of Earthquake Precursors And Russian Satellite Constellation "Vulkan" (Oraevsky, Boyarchuk and Pulinets, 2002)
  • Proposal for cooperation of "VULCAN" (Avdeev, 2003)

    Ionospheric satellite projects with the Space Research Institute NASU and NSAU: Part 1. From the "Warning" to "Ionosat"

    The first seismo-electromagnetic satellite "Compass" was launched in 2001 by Russia.
  • Compass (IZMIRAN/Russia, 2001)
    Russians Look To Launch Leaner Satellites, THE ST. PETERSBURG (RedOrbit)
  • Quakesat (Quakefinder/USA, 2003)
    The attempt of cost reduction on "Earthquake prediction experiment satellite" (NikkeiBP)
    What's Shakin'? Tiny Satellite to Try and Predict Earthquakes (
    Satellites aim to shake up quake predictions (Nature) | Anticipating Earthquakes (NASA)
    VLF Waves, the Ionosphere, and Earthquakes (Stanford SOLAR Center)
    Evidence Mounts for Electromagnetic Earthquake Precursors (Wired)

  • DEMETER (CNES/France, 2004) | Video: Interview with Dr. Michel Parrot (CNRS) | Podcast (Ciel et Espace Radio)
    Pre-seismic Electromagnetic Anomaly Observation from Space (Mainichi via Spaceref)
    Electromagnetic Observation Satellite launched by France (NISTEP, 2004)
    Earthquake from Space - Observed Anormalies in the Ionosphere (Tokyo Newspaper, 2006)
    Researchers (The 45th Anniversary Special Program of Sendai Television, 2007)

    © Sendai Television Incorporated

    © CNES
    Nemec, F., O. Santolik, M. Parrot, and J. J. Berthelier (2008),
    Spacecraft observations of electromagnetic perturbations connected with seismic activity,
    Geophys. Res. Lett., 35, L05109, doi:10.1029/2007GL032517.
  • Variant/Sich-1M (NKAU/Ukaraine, 2004)


  • Lazio-Sirad/ISS (INFN/Italy, 2005) | Observations from Space of Emission Related to Seismic Phenomena (Ricerca Italiana)
    Italians Make Earthquake Detecting Space Probe (Spacedaily, 2005)
    Italy, earthquake prone country in Europe had wanted to work by together with Japan to acquire earthquake information from space, so we obtained consensus the other day. (JAXA, 2005)
  • Compass-2 (IZMIRAN/Russia, 2006)
    Predicting earthquakes from space | Earthquakes are best predicted from space (Novosti, 2006/2008)
  • Arina/Resurs-DK (INFN/Italy-Russia, 2006)
    Russia building new Earth observation space system (Novosti, 2005)
  • Vsplesk experiment/ISS (Russia, 2006)
    Warning From Space? (LA times, 1998)
    Precursor electron spikes under the radiation belt associated with earthquakes (Hareyama et al, 2007)
    Cosmonauts installed on the module "Zvezda" equipment for predicting the earthquakes (tvroscosmos, 2008)
    Particle, Particle in Space, Tell Me About Earthquakes (Russia-IC, 2008)
    Burst: Monitoring of Seismic Effects - Bursts of High Energy Particles in Low Earth Space Region (NASA, 12.03.09)
    Particle Precipitation Report by Dr. Oleksiy Dudnik

  • POISE/UK-DMC2 (SSTL, 2009)
    Youngsters flying high after winning top UK space competition (SSTL, 2008)
    Student team wins satellite prize (BBC, 2008)
    UK-DMC2 Ready For Launch (Spacemart, 2009)
    SSTL sponsors students scientists (SSTL, 2009)
  • Electron Temperature Probe/Tatiana-2 (NCU/MSU, 2009)
    Taiwan's scientific community for the first time! Home-made micro-satellite payload and space flight test (NARL, 2009)
    NCU microsatellite high-altitude electron temperature can predict earthquake (United Daily News, 2010)
  • The 18th Satellite Design Contest (Japan Space Forum, 2010)
    Society of Geomagnetism and Earth, Planetary and Space Sciences (SGEPSS) Award
    Ionosphere Observation Satellites for Earthquake Precursor by National Defense Academy
  • The 20th Satellite Design Contest (Japan Space Forum, 2012) [USTREAM around 2:15:00]
    Society of Geomagnetism and Earth, Planetary and Space Sciences (SGEPSS) Award
    Review Committee Chief Special Award
    CKUSAT (Cheng Kung University SATellite) by National Cheng Kung University

  • The 1st Child Satellite Design Contest (JAXA, 2006)

    Highest award: Earthquake Prediction Satellite "Daichi"
    Electromagnetic Spectrum: A Friend of the Humanity
    A.P.J. Abdul Kalam

    Earthquake Forecast and Electromagnetic Phenomena

    In many places in our planet, we experience severe earthquakes resulting in loss of life, loss of wealth and in some cases it destroys the decades of progress made by the country and its valuable civilizational heritage. India has earthquake problems periodically in certain regions. Recently, in our state of Jammu and Kashmir and the neighbouring country, there was an earth quake. US, Japan, Turkey, Iran and many other countries also suffer due to earthquakes.

    An earthquake is a sub terrain phenomenon and predicting this from space observations would be a great challenge. An Earthquake phenomenon in broader sense starts to produce some precursors before the final rupture, although this precursor generating pre-rupture stage is not usually regarded as part of an earthquake. The question is whether such precursor really exists or not. So-called pre-slip envisaged in the dynamic models of earthquake source is also a good theoretical possibility but its observation appears difficult. Precise geodetic measurement by GPS may succeed in the detection of the pre-slip. It seems that electromagnetic phenomena prior to final rupture may be promising.

    According to new concepts earthquakes occur when the crust reaches a critical state, emission of electromagnetic signals before final rupture is theoretically plausible, notably in the ultra low frequency (ULF) range and very low frequency (VLF) range.

    It is hoped that well organized electromagnetic monitoring may provide unique observational information on the pre-slips. Atmospheric/ionospheric anomalies still remains unresolved. Post earthquake disaster recovery, communication and damage assessment are also areas where space science and communication technology can quickly make its impact. I am sure radio scientists will definitely be keen to establish the co-relation between the occurrence of earthquake and the electromagnetic disturbances noticed in the specific region.

    Kalam calls for earthquake prediction, monsoon research

    He underlined the need for earthquake prediction.

    'Earthquakes in different parts of the world are resulting in loss of life and wealth,
    destroying decades of progress made by countries.
    India has earthquake problems periodically in certain regions.
    It is essential to forecast earthquakes using multiple parameters
    such as pre-shock conditions and atmospheric and ionospheric anomalies,' he said.

    'Ten years ago it was impossible but today it is possible to predict earthquakes.
    Many teams are working on it.'

    Scheduled Missions
    China Seismo-Ionospheric Groundbase Monitoring Network
    Chinese Seismo-Electromagnetic Satellite will be launched next year (Chinanews, 2008)

    © China News Service
    Satellite to Help Predict Earthquakes | CSES | CNSA-LAPAN | CSES and IONOSAT

    Unamsat-3 (UNAM/Mexico-Russia) | Kanopus-V (Russia) | Quakesat-II (Quakefinder/USA)
    LEAP (NCKU/Taiwan) | ESPERIA (INFN/Itary)| IONOSAT (NKAU/Ukraine)
    OMIR (Kazakhstan) | ELMOS Constellation (JAXA)
    International Aerospace System for Monitoring of Global Natural and Technogenic Phenomena (IGMAS)

    TwinSat: Russia-UK nanosatellites | Man's future in space depends on investment (RT, March 1, 2011)

    Alan Smith heads the British part of the Russia-UK joint TwinSat Project that is working on the construction of next-generation satellites to observe and monitor seismic activity on Earth, such as earthquakes and volcanoes.

    "The TwinSat Project would involve two spacecrafts which would orbit the Earth about 400 kilometers apart and with instrumentation on board that would study the ionosphere from above," Alan Smith explains.

    "What we are looking for are signatures in the ionosphere which are precursors to earthquake phenomena and volcanic eruption phenomena," all of them necessary for an earthquake prediction programme.

    A special website will be set up to predict the probability of earthquakes around the world. Predictions could be made up to 10 days before the actual disaster, so when the alert for a certain region goes red, the authorities will have time to prepare and do whatever they can to properly act when it happens.
    Possibility of short-term earthquake predictions (KBS, 2011-05-02)
    More than 50 days have passed since the devastating earthquake and tsunami hit Japan. The Japanese are still reeling from the aftereffects of the disasters, while world still lives in fear of nuclear fallout from the Fukushima plant. More and more calls are being made for better earthquake predictions. Seismologists are already able to make long- and mid-term predictions that foretell earthquakes coming in decades or even months. But current technology still makes it impossible to forecast the onset of an earthquake within a few days. However, Dr. Chae Jang-soo �\���� of the Satellite Technology Research Center of the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology says satellites can identify earthquake precursors, which would make short-term earthquake prediction possible. First, Dr. Chae will explain the relationship between satellites and earthquakes.
    Iranian Experts to Manufacture Earthquake Prediction Satellite (FNA, 2012-02-19)
    The satellite dubbed Ayat (Signs) will help predict the time of earthquakes for the first time in the country.
    Deputy Head of Iran's Industrial and Scientific Studies Center for Innovation and International Cooperation Mohammad Hassan Entezari said the satellite would identify the signals sent out from the earth before or after the earthquake, adding the satellite weighs 50-70 kg and would be placed in a lower altitude.
    He stressed some countries including France, China and Russia are working in this regard, noting Ayat satellite possesses a key role in processing the seismic disturbances before and after the shocks.

    Peru-Magneto Colloquium about earthquakes and electromagnetism (PUCP, March 26, 2012)
    Peruvian and foreign scientists, academics, university authorities and other state officials will meet at the Peru-Magneto Colloquium on Friday March 30 in the Humanities Auditorium.

    The Institute for Radio Astronomy (NAFRI) of PUCP leads the research project called Peru-Magneto , who seeks to study what is the relationship between electromagnetic phenomena in the subsurface and seismic activity.

    "We are not seismologists are studying earthquakes only by the electrical side. Investigations both Peru and elsewhere indicate that when an earthquake occurs, due to the pressure plates against each other, they generate electrical charges to the traveling surface and that manifest different forms, such as luminescence . We believe that these lights are a way to warn that an earthquake can come. We have studied very well the lights were in Lima during the earthquake of 15 August 2007 and we have obtained some conclusions we want to show," the Dr. Jorge Heraud, director of NAFRI.

    The purpose of this symposium is to initiate, with the support of public sector entities, private and university-planning for a network of magnetometers on the Peruvian coast and in other cities that allow recording of the local magnetic field pulses. So far, there are five operating units: one in Chincha and four Moguegua and Tacna.

    The symposium will be held on Friday March 30 from 8 am in the Humanities Auditorium. Among the international exhibitors include the Dr. Friedemann Freund , of NASA Ames Research Center, and Tom Bleier , Stellar Solution, Californian scientists are working with researchers NAFRI. In addition, an agreement was signed between the PUCP and Telef�nica company will donate the Internet connectivity for sending data from the magnetometers to NAFRI.
    * Colloquium Peru - Magneto | videos (PUCP) | Telefonica and Catholic University join forces to develop earthquake warning system (Businessempresarial, 2012.03.30)

    An earthquake can be predicted with sniper accuracy (ONT, May 25, 2012)

    The new spacecraft, developed by the Belarusian and Russian scientists is projected to be able to catch the glow of the atmosphere. And it will help accurately determine the epicenter of the underground hits.

    Scientists believe that because of the processes that occur in the crust, gases and ions in the atmosphere are beginning to glow. This glow, and will point to the area and the epicenter of the earthquake. "Space Observer" will be placed in a special complex that dock with the space station. And it will examine only the glow hemisphere, where it will be night. The unit will show an amazing accuracy at a distance of two thousand miles. It must withstand the rocking of the station and make a spectral picture of the atmosphere. Determines the earthquake, with an error in a matter of miles. Space conditions simulated in the laboratory, where the device has successfully passed the test. To work on the orbiting space observer will begin next year.
    Chiba University Microsatellites & Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (2013.8.3)

    The 2nd Mission Idea Contest: Project of Micro-Satellite Constellation for Earthquake Precursor Study

    Dr Stuart Eves

    Microsatellite Ionospheric Network in Orbit

    In tribute to Mino Freund 1962-2012

    UK Space Conference: Earthquake Prediction From Space (Stuart Eves) from A. Rocketeer

    After Quake, Attention Grows On Early-Warning Systems
    Plan for quake 'warning system'
    NASA to develop earthquake warning system
    Earthquake warning theory draws criticism

    Earthquake Forecast: Yes Or No? (Jason et al., 2002)

    Yes, Earthquake Forecast is a difficult and potentially dangerous subject.
    Yes, it is imperative to be sure of results and models.
    No, this cannot be accomplished by speculating and thorising alone.
    Yes, more data is needed to be able to conclude either way.
    Yes, it can be done at very low cost.
    Yes, there is a clear way forward if we choose to take it.
    Are we right to say no?

    STAR Program | SeismoSTAR | Missions | Ionosphere | LAI-Coupling | Publications | Appendix