parallax background

Israeli ‘Iron Dome’ Rocket Science Could Minimise Natural Disaster Aftermath

5th March 2019
Ship on water
Solomon Islands facing worst made-made environmental disaster in history
26th February 2019
A picture of a tree coming out of water
Payday Loans Firms Target the Poor in Queensland Floods
12th March 2019

Experts say the country's state-of-the-art missile defence technology could be applied to predicting and managing catastrophic events like earthquakes, wildfires and hurricanes

I was overjoyed to read about technological developments in Israel today. Experts in Israel are apparently planning to minimise disruption of essential services in disaster zones and prepare for catastrophic weather events by drawing on the technology behind the country's all-weather air defence system.

The Major Event Management Application (MEMA) forecasts the location and extent of damage through a network of thousands of sensors that analyse weather and other data using advanced algorithms, Israel 21c reports.

mPrest Systems, the private Israeli company behind the command and control software inside Israel's Iron Dome missile defence system, said MEMA's technology is based on the same "system of systems" that were developed for Iron Dome.

N atan Barak, the company's founder and CEO, said the application of rocket science - originally designed to save lives - can also improve quality of life.

He said: "The Iron Dome is, in essence, a real-time distributed asset analytics and management system. The system accumulates data from tens of thousands of sensors to detect when a missile is launched, calculate its path, and decide if, when and where to intercept so that citizens and communities remain safe.”

The publication used the expectation of an earthquake in California as an example in its excellent report. MEMA, it says, will enable local utilities to plan for the aftermath by drawing on historical data from previous disasters. The technology would then pinpoint high-risk areas where resources should be sent and concentrated.

When the earthquake strikes, MEMA would notify the utilities and use the information from its sensors and from satellite and drone imagery to give real-time updates about wind levels and ground motion.

The sensors, meanwhile, can also check critical assets like power lines and transformers, and critical facilities like schools and hospitals that could be hit. This, Barak explains, can help to "accelerate recovery times and restoration costs".

If such technology can save lives, or help to restore lives after a devastating natural disaster, it should be implemented at the earliest possible time by as many countries as possible worldwide, regardless of cost.