The COVID-19 pandemic has caused havoc in the economic, social, societal and health systems around the world. Controlling such a crisis requires insight into a community’s characteristics and behaviour which can be identified by collecting and analysing related data. Data analytics tools play a vital role in building the knowledge and understanding required in making decisions and precautionary measures.
However, due to the vast amount of data available on COVID-19 from various sources, there is a need to improve on the role of data analytics and data sharing in
- controlling the spread of the virus
- presenting the main challenges and directions of COVID-19 data analysis
- providing a framework on the related existing applications and
- studies to facilitate future research
OpenGov Asia had an opportunity to speak exclusively to Dr Ian Oppermann, Chief Data Scientist, New South Wales (NSW) Government and Industry Professor at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) to discuss how data analytics and data sharing helped them in their COVID-19 mitigation efforts.
Ian has 27 years of experience in the ICT sector and has led organisations with more than 300 people, delivering products and outcomes that have impacted hundreds of millions of people globally. He has held senior management roles in Europe and Australia. Ian is considered a thought leader in the Digital Economy and is a regular speaker on big data, broadband-enabled services and the impact of technology on society.
When talking about analytics from an NSW perspective during the pandemic, the first thing that comes to Ian’s mind was how the community and organisations began to appreciate the “art of the possible”, the power of predictive data analytics and what they could with it. People were starting to realise that their activities could be supercharged by having access to data.
For example, the NSW authorities started exploring data that showed the movement of people in the community whilst still protecting individual privacy. The government needed to know if people were following COVID-19 movement restrictions, if they were staying at home or if they were going out. If they were venturing out, how far did they move away from their home region (SA2)? This insight could help them make decisions on community-related restrictions based on the level of compliance.
The pandemic also changed the timeframe on which people operate. By understanding these different timeframes using data analytics, authorities could determine initiatives and guidelines that matched people’s routines and tailor-fit them to different communities and individuals.
As an example, the NSW government launched an AI Strategy programme to improve service delivery and government decision-making. Undeniably, AI and data analytics played a key role in automating inefficient and manual processes to deliver better services to citizens and freed up staff time for more critical or frontline work. The programme also assisted in decision-making around resource allocation based on community need.
NSW has been working on privacy-preserving data sharing frameworks for quite a long time but there was not a lot of traction even though they incorporated more deliberate and strategic ways of sharing data. When COVID-19 struck, suddenly all these data-sharing frameworks were in great demand from a range of entities. People looking for these frameworks realised they were readily available with the government and were eager to use them.
In the hour of need, a lot of data sharing happened; but there remained concerns about sensitive data and personal information in data being shared. Knowing this, the NSW government started to implement modified versions of the data-sharing frameworks which had been developed. Extra restrictions were put in place to protect sensitive data including the use of the Personal Information Factor (PIF) tool.
Another NSW government programme is the Smart Places Strategy that has been designed to deliver outcomes to benefit the citizens, businesses, employees and partners. With a citizen-centric view, it builds on years of work and enhanced by digital twins, data sharing, security and privacy.
The outcomes span six key areas and were developed using insights from engagement with communities across regional and metropolitan NSW. The Smart Places Strategy focuses on:
- Skills, jobs, and development: grow knowledge capital of people and businesses in NSW to benefit from the transition of the global economy
- Safety and security: provide safer places for people and increase a sense of security
- Environmental quality: (increase sustainability by reducing emissions, resource consumption and environmental impacts
- Equity, accessibility, and inclusion: will improve physical and digital access for the people of NSW to participate in economic and civic life
- Health and well-being: improve the quality of life and well-being for the people of NSW
- Collaboration and connection: bring people, businesses and governments, their data, and services together in a seamless way
Data analytics played a role regarding the cultural shift of working from home/remotely during the pandemic, Ian felt.
Undeniably, the remote working setup was beneficial for society and it perfectly showed that could be done to adapt to a situation. The pressure of working continuously along with the constant struggle of adopting technologies took a toll. As time went by, other challenges started emerging. Employees not in close contact with each other daily experienced an erosion of interpersonal relationships and team dynamic started to fray.
In its bid to aid economic recovery, some parts of the NSW government are starting to mandate its workers to return to the offices at least three days a week. However, recent analysis from NSW’s Productivity team has highlighted that there is indeed an increase in productivity associated with working remotely. So, to reap the benefits of both working setups, a split schedule between working on-site and working remotely was recommended. Adopting a hybrid working environment can help in terms of mitigating the spread of the virus, building back the economy, and improving the camaraderie and welfare of the workforce, all at the same time.
The NSW government is continuously moving forward with data sharing as it is increasingly becoming a part of daily life. However, Ian confirmed, there is a long way to go in this journey. One area they work on consistently is gaining public trust concerning the use and sharing of data by increasing their level of transparency.
Ian firmly believes that efficiency, wider access and keen insights are all to be had with data and data analytics, “Data sharing makes things smart and we should never let a good idea go unborrowed”.
The end goal is, after all, he says, to use the data for the improvement of public services and the benefit of the citizens.
 See for example https://www.csiro.au/en/news/news-releases/2021/new-data-privacy-tool-ensures-anonymous-covid-19-data-remains-secure-and-private
A tech firm operating under the Hong Kong Smart Government Innovation Lab recently announced that it has launched new solutions which are now ready to be acquired by companies and institutions.
Solution description – factory-terminated optical fibre tip-to-tip network infrastructure cabling for offices and data centres
Thanks to fibre optics, invented in the firm’s lab in 1970, enormous amounts of data, phone calls and video can move around the planet. That movement of data has, in turn, enabled innovation after innovation, including the internet, cloud, mobile boom, streaming TV, autonomous cars, bitcoin, AI – and whatever comes next.
The firm’s solutions create an optical fibre tip-to-tip solution for LAN and data centres consisting of housings, modules, panels, trunks, harnesses, and jumpers. IT operators have an exhaustive list of desirable parameters they employ to ensure their facilities’ smooth and efficient operation the firm strives to exceed their expectations.
The company interviewed over 3,000 operators, and the outcome remained the same – the infrastructure must be reliable, high-quality, flexible, manageable, scalable, and visible to support a 24/7 year-round operation without question.
The tech firm’s award-winning EDGE™ solutions are high-density pre-terminated optical cabling solutions that simplify installation and improve performance in the office LAN and data centre environment. EDGE solutions provide increased system density when compared to traditional pre-terminated systems and offer the highest port density in the market.
The firm’s ClearCurve® bend-optimized optical fibre is the core element ensuring reliability when designing custom-engineered components thanks to its significant reduction in macro-bend loss even in the most challenging bend scenarios.
This technology enables the company to provide significantly greater density across the range combined with simple design and integration for LAN and SAN areas of cabling infrastructure. Infrastructure performance management is a traffic monitoring method being transmitted and received along with a link in a network providing real-time visibility.
This method can be done actively through electronic devices that can replicate and send the link’s data to the monitoring device (also called mirroring or spanning). Alternatively, it can be done through passive optical taps or port taps, transmitting all the data to the intended recipient and a monitoring device simultaneously. It can also filter the data and send it to various software tools for analytics, where it is then sent to an application-layer software for use by network administrators.
All EDGE solutions products, except TAP modules and 24-fibre MTP® single-mode assemblies, are manufactured with the firm’s proprietary CleanAdvantage™ technology, a new cleaning process implemented at the factory that uses residue-free cleaning fluids.
The firm’s proprietary nozzle design enables a focused and directed spray to the end-face, virtually cleaning the entire ferrule. All CleanAdvantage products are also shipped with optimized dust caps engineered to maintain the end-face cleanliness until the first mating connection. CleanAdvantage eliminates the need for scoping and cleaning before the initial field connection, reducing installation time and cost.
The solution was developed to be applied across the areas of City Management, Commerce and Industry, Environment, Finance, Housing, Infrastructure, Recreation and Culture as well as Transport.
The solution employs Artificial Intelligence (AI), Augmented Reality, Cloud Computing, Internet of Things (IoT), Machine Learning, Mobile Technologies and Virtual Reality.
The company’s EDGE factory-terminated solutions have been deployed by finance institutes, technologies enterprise and government in the global marketplace.
The factory-terminated tip-to-tip optical fibre components allow for reduced installation time and faster moves, adds, and changes (MACs). Corning factory-terminated solutions provide improved system performance, ensure component compatibility, and yield consistently high quality.
EDGE solutions consist of an extensive range of housings, trunks, modules, adapter panels, harnesses, patch cords, and accessories for extended flexibility. The universally-wired modular system components provide simplistic management for quick-and-easy networking MACs with none of the polarity concerns associated with special polarity-compensating components.
The deployment of a scalable optical connectivity solution allows infrastructure to meet current and future data rates’ requirements. Scalability enables the physical expansion of the cabling infrastructure to additional servers, switches, or storage devices and flexibility to the infrastructure to support a migration path for increasing data rates.
As technology evolves and standards are completed to define data rates such as 40/100/400G Ethernet, Fibre Channel (32G and beyond), and InfiniBand (40G and beyond), the cabling infrastructures installed today must provide scalability to accommodate the need for more bandwidth in support of future applications.
The Philippines’ Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) is proposing to make the use of digital signatures mandatory in national government agencies (NGAs) and local government units (LGUs).
During the Ease of Doing Business Summit, ARTA urged NGAs and LGUs to subscribe to the Philippine National Public Key Infrastructure (PNPKI) of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) to generate e-signature. The DICT can also accredit digital signatures of private institutions.
As per ARTA, the Commission on Audit (COA) is already drafting a circular to recognise the use of digital signatures in all government transactions as well as the crafting of the guidelines on the use of digital signatures.
Aside from the mandatory use of digital signature, ARTA is pushing for a unified online payment system for all fees, contributions, and taxes across NGAs and LGUs. They are already in initial talks and discussions with the concerned agencies, and they are proposing that the Land Bank of the Philippines as one of the government banks to be the payment aggregator of all these payments.
Along with the implementation of e-payment, the agency said that they are currently ironing out the guidelines in the issuance of electronic copies of receipts by the NGAs and LGUs. The use of e-signature and e-payment in government transactions is part of the administration’s push to automate services and processes in public offices.
As reported by OpenGov Asia, the government said that integrating information and communications technology in government service is the best way to prepare for the digital demands of the new norm brought by the pandemic.
With a mandate to promote public trust and efficiency in the delivery of public services, ARTA is well positioned to deploy this initiative as part of its strategy. The adoption of digital signatures complements the ARTA’s Advisory Nos. 1 and 2, s. 2020, that urge all government entities to fast-track public transactions through alternative online procedures and the use of e-signatures for official documents.
The Ease of Doing Business and ARTA Council, the policy and advisory body of ARTA previously convened a video conference to discuss initiatives during the COVID-19 pandemic. During the virtual meet, the council discussed strategies towards the digitisation of government functions as the country transitions into the new normal as it relates to the COVID-19 crisis.
The council agreed that all government agencies should significantly increase the adoption of technology for efficient and timely delivery of government services. Such adoption of technology and deployment of online services will minimise the risk of further spreading of the virus as well as better serve citizens in general.
These efforts are in line with President Duterte’s directive to ease government-to-citizen transactions during the ongoing state of a public health emergency, and in compliance with the directive of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for government agencies to minimise bottlenecks in the delivery of vital public services.
Previously, ARTA launched its flagship programme NEHEMIA or the National Effort for the Harmonisation of Efficient Measures of Inter-related Agencies. Programme NEHEMIA is a sectoral-based streamlining effort that is directed towards speeding up and realisation of the Socio-Economic Agenda of the government. It targets to reduce the time, cost, requirements, and procedures in sectors of economic and social significance by 52% within 52weeks.
The programme NEHEMIA is in line with ARTA’s mandate to adopt a whole-of-government approach in the streamlining of government services. It is also aligned with the recently released Administrative Order 23: Eliminating Overregulation to Promote Efficiency of Government Processes signed by the President.
As the pandemic propels restaurants and other businesses to keep their distance from customers, a Shanghai-based robotics firm looks to bring its automated helpers to Singapore and other markets across the globe. The robotic servers wait by the kitchen for meals to come out. Staffers load them up and tell them which tables to go to via touchscreen. Then they roll off, deftly avoiding obstacles in their way.
The AI company focuses on indoor intelligent service robot, in the field of indoor autonomous d and providing intelligent unmanned delivery solutions. They have developed a variety of commercial service robots to meet different customers requirement. Their products are mainly applied in fields such as catering, medical care, hotels, entertainment, retail, venues, government affairs, offices, real estate, communities, banking, posts, finance, insurance, airports, stations, etc.
The robots’ features are the following:
- Touch sensor. The robot can return quickly with a single tap
- UI that makes the human-robot interaction more friendly
- Smart voice recognition receives users ‘orders accurately and gives response quickly
- An infrared perception system that detects the status of goods in the pallet, the robot returns automatically as quickly as humans and help customers take away the empty disks
The robots are also equipped with an autonomous localisation and navigation feature. The multi-sensor fusion technology, based on LIDAR, machine vision, depth senor, etc., that can locate and navigate precisely. It can run smoothly and stably indoors even in a complex environment. The tech also has a vivid expression show that is based on an AI interactive engine, several bionic and vivid expression packages can be customised. The human-like emotions as happy, angry, sorrow etc., making communication more interesting.
Lastly, it has a multi robots collaboration programme. With a planning system, multiple robots can cooperate smoothly in the same working environment, elevating efficiency,
The tech company shared that they are responsible for roughly 85% of food-serving robots ever sold in China. The country has been a pioneer in service robots, thanks partly to relatively relaxed regulation that benefits budding businesses, and it already uses robots commercially in such fields as food delivery and security.
Production capacity was roughly doubled in 2020 to prepare for overseas expansion. The tech company stated that their factories all have extra space, and they plan to increase capacity to up to 200,000 units.
The tech has also gotten a big boost from the push to minimise the person-to-person spread of COVID-19. Its unit sales likely more than tripled to over 10,000 in 2020. Sales of service robots were to increase 34% to USD 2.94 billion in China in 2020, roughly twice as fast as for the world, according to one industry forecast.
The tech company and developer aim to have local units set up in at least 10 countries by the end of 2021. It opened a Japan arm in March with just under 10 staffers and is looking at South Korea and Singapore, as well as markets in Europe, North America, and the Middle East.
However, challenges are still at hand. While the developer is a relatively well-known company at home, it has little name recognition abroad. Clients appear more concerned about features than the price at this point. Many foreign markets also tend to focus heavily on the quality of customer service, meaning that robots and other automated solutions might not gain much traction among consumers seeking a more conventional experience.
The International Institute of Information Technology in Hyderabad (IIIT-H) is launching a month-long smart city start-up challenge, in association with the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MEITY). The programme will allow selected start-ups an opportunity to pitch to smart city technology multinational companies and smart city officials. The winner will get an equity-free grant of IN1 million (US$) for further development. Winners will also be featured in an innovation listing shared with smart city leaders.
According to a news report, the programme is run by Smart City Living Labs, part of the Smart City Research Centre set up with support from MEITY, the Smart City Mission, and the government of Telangana at IIITH. The focus areas for the challenge are water, waste, safety and security, health, and energy. Any start-ups with solutions or products with smart city use cases can apply, especially tech start-ups already working with products that provide use cases, with or without customers. Those with expertise in commercially deploying market-ready products can also apply. The application deadline is 1 June, the report added.
Ramesh Loganathan, professor- co-innovation and head research of innovation outreach, noted that the Smart City Living Lab is an attempt to discover cutting-edge innovations with smart city use cases and enrich them with knowledge from research. This start-up challenge will help discover innovations to enable smart cities. The winning teams will get capital, network, and knowledge support. The programme is envisioned to support and scale start-ups that are building sustainable, inclusive, and innovative solutions for smart cities.
Smart city technology can make cities more effective and efficient, which is necessary given the projected rapid growth in urban populations over the next few decades. Living Labs will use technology and data purposefully to make better decisions and deliver a better quality of life. The report explained that Living Labs’ mission is to use technology and data purposefully to make better decisions and deliver a better quality of life. By connecting start-ups with those searching for smart city solutions, the programme will amplify the transformation of city infrastructure.
It is also running a water challenge in association with the government of Telangana and the National Institute of Urban Management to find viable solutions to the problems faced regarding water quality, supply, and non-revenue water by cities in Telangana. The goal of the Living Lab plan is to create an urban area enhancing three value domains: social, economic, and environmental. It aims to enable acquire expertise in IoT for smart cities-related research and deployment; generate data for research; create a viable innovation and demand-driven ecosystem in universities; and provide a test bench for IoT-based smart city implementations to start-ups and big companies.
The government’s Smart City Mission aims to drive economic growth and improve the quality of life of people by enabling local development and harnessing technology to create smart outcomes for citizens. Under the project, 100 cities will be covered for five years.
After over two years of consultation, the government of New South Wales (NSW) has published an exposure draft of its long-awaited bill for mandatory data breach notifications. The bill specifies reporting thresholds ahead of the planned introduction of the scheme.
The exposure draft, which is open for consultation until 18 June 2021, follows over two years of work by the departments of Communities and Justice and Customer Service, as well as the privacy commissioner. NSW became the first state or territory to pledge to introduce such a scheme in February 2020, more than five years after former privacy commissioner Elizabeth Coombs first called for such laws.
The Privacy and Personal Information Protection Amendment Bill intends to fill the gap left by the Commonwealth’s notifiable data breach scheme, which applies to federal government agencies but not state government agencies or local councils. It will require all departments and agencies, state-owned corporations, local councils and some universities in NSW to report breaches likely to result in “serious harm” to affected individuals and privacy commissioner. The bill also closes a regulatory loophole by applying NSW’s Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act to state-owned corporations not already regulated by the Commonwealth Privacy Act.
According to the bill, a serious breach occurs when there is “unauthorised access to, or unauthorised disclosure of, personal information”, which is likely to result in serious harm to individuals involved. Personal information can include photos, contact details and fingerprints, as well as health information about an individual’s physical or mental health, disability or any other information related to the provision of health services.
When the agency suspects a breach has occurred, it must conduct an assessment with 30 days to determine whether it meets the threshold for notifying affected individuals and the privacy commissioner. An extension may be approved if the assessment “cannot reasonably be conducted” within that timeframe, though the agency head will need to report this to the privacy commissioner and provide updates.
In instances where an agency can identify individuals affected by a breach, it must notify them “as soon as practicable”. If the agency is unable to determine the affected individuals, it will be required to publish the notification on a public register for at least 12 months.
Agencies may be exempt from notifying the affected individuals and the privacy commissioner if doing so will prejudice an investigation or is related to matters before the court. Further exemptions exist for agencies that “take action to mitigate the harm done by the breach” before access or disclosure results in serious harm or if notification could lead to further breaches.
The bill will also give the privacy commissioner new powers to enter the premises of entities and inspect anything that may relate to compliance with the scheme, including processes and systems, and conduct audits. The NSW Digital Minister said the introduction of the scheme was supported by the Information and Privacy Commission and Cyber Security NSW “to clarify agency obligations”.
The bill is expected to be introduced to parliament later this year and if passed, will commence following a 12-month period to give agencies enough time to put in place the necessary compliance mechanisms.
The need to boost national cybersecurity
Recently, the Federal Government pledged $745,920 in funds for a new cybersecurity centre to help train and support Australian small businesses to deal with cyber-attacks. While the announcement is welcome news for Australian businesses, it also spells good news for consumers that will benefit from better data security.
The Cybersecurity Aid Centre will be located in Parramatta, NSW, and run by Western Sydney University. Funding for the program will form part of the Cyber Security Business Connect and Protect Grants Program, a government initiative that connects businesses with trusted cybersecurity companies to improve their cyber awareness.
The centre will offer businesses training seminars on cyber response, including how to deal with data breaches, ransomware attacks and email vulnerabilities. Businesses will also have access to a host of resources about cyber-attack including a Cyber Suite and Toolkit.
A hotline will be available to walk both consumers and businesses through the confusing and stressful process of what to do when they are experiencing a cyber-attack, including how to uplift defences as part of effective business operations.
An international tech company is testing out video analytics technology in the Singapore Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) to detect and reduce incidents like crowding and incorrect wearing of facemasks in real-time, as per news reports.
With a strong commitment towards creating digital railways of the future, the tech developer is working with one of Singapore’s public transport companies to employ new digital technologies to deliver a safer and more comfortable passenger journey for Singapore’s MRT commuters.
The Passenger Density Technology will provide real-time insights on passenger density which was co-conceptualised with the public transport company. The tech uses algorithms to detect and analyse silhouettes on video footage from CCTV cameras. It can trigger alerts or even count these silhouettes to accurately calculate crowding onboard trains and stations. The tech also automatically sends alerts to the station manager whenever it detects overcrowding.
The developer said that they have been continuously doing trials with local operators in the east and downtown lines. One consideration for the tech developer is how they can utilise current infrastructure such as the existing CCTV cameras to keep the costs down. Leveraging existing CCTV networks and live ticketing data, this new solution is ready to provide real-time information on passenger density at station platforms and on-board trains; eliminating the need for train weighing which is currently being used to measure density. With this solution, which can detect crowdedness and alert staff to the situation, station managers have heightened situational awareness to make informed decisions to ease congestion more efficiently and enhance comfort and the travel experience for commuters.
To get the solution to market quicker, the team is comprised of software engineers, data scientists and user experience designers. The team continues to explore new uses for the solution in safety and security, for instance by detecting unattended items, acts of violence and illegal behaviour such as vandalism in stations or on trains. Soon, it could even spot commuters who are not wearing masks during this pandemic.
Speaking of safe travels, as reported by OpenGov Asia, high-tech robot guards at the MRT stations were implemented as an addition to Singapore’s use of technology as part of boosting its security efforts. OB1FORC3 and the K3NOBI models of robots are two new robots, which have been deployed at Ang Mo Kio MRT station, equipped with intelligent surveillance cameras, sensors and video analytics capabilities. These robots were developed by a local tech security company.
The robots were deployed as part of Exercise Station Guard – an emergency preparedness exercise. The exercises were conducted by the Land Transport Authority (LTA) and SMRT as part of their efforts for enabling operational readiness and strengthening security in public places. The robots were tasked to observe and identify suspicious-looking people and stray items. Security officers were able to survey the area remotely by viewing the surroundings through the robots’ cameras and video analytics capabilities.
Senior Minister of State for Transport, Janil Puthucheary, observed this exercise. Commuters at Ang Mo Kio MRT station were also involved in the exercise, taking part in security screenings where they had to walk through a metal detector and their items to be scanned by X-ray machines.
The security industry is starting to find ways of reducing manpower needs and investing more in the use of technology. This in efforts for reducing the dependence on manpower to carry out tasks. Such a system is ideal for combining the use of manpower and technology to achieve the most efficient outcomes.
The Earthquake early-warning system called ShakeAlert is now available to residents of California, Oregon and Washington after 15 years of planning and development. It reaches 50 million people in the most earthquake-prone region in the U.S. People in these three states can now receive alerts from a wireless emergency alert system, third-party phone apps, and other technologies. Hence, the system will give them precious seconds of warning before an earthquake hits.
The ShakeAlert system aims to facilitate the delivery of public alerts of potentially damaging earthquakes and provide warning parameter data to government agencies and private users on a region-by-region basis.
The ShakeAlert system relies on sensor data from the USGS Advanced National Seismic System (ANSS). ANSS is a United States Geological Survey (USGS)-facilitated collection of regional earthquake monitoring networks operated by partner universities and state geological surveys on the West Coast and throughout the nation.
The mechanisms of the ShakeAlert system include during an earthquake, a rupturing fault sends out different types of waves. The fast-moving Primary (P)-wave is first to arrive, followed by the slower Secondary (S)-wave and later-arriving surface waves. Sensors then detect the P-wave and immediately transmit data to a ShakeAlert processing centre where the location, size, and estimated shaking of the quake are determined.
If the earthquake fits the right profile a ShakeAlert message is issued by the USGS. A shake alert message is then picked up by delivery partners (such as a transportation agency) that could be used to produce an alert to notify people to take protective action such as Drop, Cover, and Hold On and/or trigger an automated action such as slowing a train.
In addition to supporting public alerts to mobile phones, ShakeAlert system data has, since late 2018, been used to develop applications that trigger automated actions. Automatic actions can be used to prevent derailments, open firehouse doors so they do not jam shut and close valves to protect water and gas systems.
USGS works closely with ANSS partners and state emergency management agencies on the system’s development as well as public communication, education and outreach. ShakeAlert is a new ANSS tool in the USGS risk reduction toolbox.
Associate Director of the USGS said that the science of USGS is the backbone of hazard assessment, notification, and response capabilities for communities nationwide so they can plan for, and bounce back from, natural disasters.
Systems powered by ShakeAlert can turn mere seconds into opportunities for people to take life-saving protective actions or for applications to trigger automated actions that protect critical infrastructure. An effort like this takes the dedication, ingenuity and hard work of dozens of partners with the same vision. USGS is proud to have been part of a collaborative team that made this robust public safety system available for millions of citizens on the West Coast.
Studies in Washington, Oregon, and California have shown that the warning time would range from seconds to tens of seconds. ShakeAlert can give enough time to slow trains and taxiing planes, to prevent cars from entering bridges and tunnels, to move away from dangerous machines or chemicals in work environments and to take cover under a desk, or to automatically shut down and isolate industrial systems.
In addition to these Phase 1 implementations, technical improvements to the ShakeAlert system are also part of the story. The sensor network has reached target density in the Los Angeles, San Francisco Bay and Seattle metro regions and version 2.0 of the ShakeAlert production system has been deployed.
This version of the ShakeAlert system produces both point source and line source earthquake solutions. It has added ground motion estimation products, and the number of false and missed events has been reduced. ShakeAlert system version 2.0 has also satisfied government cybersecurity requirements and includes improved operational procedures.