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Improved data logging, sharing and analysis for the British Geological Survey's School Seismology project

Jon Gilbert

The School Seismology project ( enables schools to detect signals from large earthquakes happening anywhere in the world. It is used to teach a range of basic science concepts in over 400 schools around the UK by detecting world earthquakes in the classroom using a simple seismometer system and exchanging Earthquake data with schools around the world.

At the moment, the software (AmaSeis that is used to monitor and analyse data from the seismometer systems is rapidly becoming out of date. It has several problems: it runs only on Windows, its server-client communication is hampered by certain firewalls, it requires a PC running 24/7, which costs about £200 in electricity per year, data has to uploaded to the sharing web site manually and data can only be analysed on computer that have AmaSeis installed.

In this project, you will develop a better way of handling data logging, sharing and analysis. Data logging must be done low-key so that it could run on cheap and low-powered devices (such as the NSLU2 Data sharing must be automatic by buffering and placing it into a central store at the British Geological Survey (BGS), taking into account whether an earthquake has happened and could have been recorded. The sharing must be via a protocol most firewalls will allow (HTTP). The analysis can be done with more modern software that already exists, such as SeisGram2k ( The goal is to embed these into a simple portal which then runs these analysis on computers at the BGS, perhaps via Rapid ( if that is appropriate, in a similar way to RapidSeis (

You will be given access to a seismometer system and the current software. The primary aim is to replace the current bridge between the seismometer and the data sharing and analysis components. In combination with the BGS you will build a system that integrates with their current web site for sharing earthquake events and take their guidance in which analysis software to adopt.

This project may be eligible for a small honorarium under the BGS BUFI scheme

Project status: 
Degree level: 
Knowledge of Linux essential. Experience with web service development useful.
Supervisors @ NeSC: 
Other supervisors: 
Paul Denton, British Geological Survey
Subject areas: 
Computer Communication/Networking
Software Engineering
WWW Tools and Programming
Student project type: