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Business News/ Science / News/  Scientists want to lay fiber optic cable on Moon - Here's why
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Scientists want to lay fiber optic cable on Moon - Here's why

For this project, the scientists have proposed a technology -- Distributed Acoustic Sensing (DAS). It will observe seismic activity on Moon

The DAS technology is capable of capturing and analyzing the seismic waves disturbed by lunar quakes.Premium
The DAS technology is capable of capturing and analyzing the seismic waves disturbed by lunar quakes.

Scientists are exploring an Idea to deploy a fiber optic seismic network on the Moon to detect seismic events on the lunar surface, said a report by Earth.com citing a study by Wenbo Wu and colleagues from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute.

According to the report, the groundwork is laid on the Apollo missions’ legacy, which, between 1969 and 1976, installed four seismometers on the Moon. These seismometers had captured thousands of seismic activities, revealing both the shallow and profound moonquakes and meteorite impacts. 

However, some questions remain unanswered, notably the scarcity of quakes detected on the Moon’s far side and the detection of moonquakes deep below the surface.

For this project, the scientists have proposed a technology -- Distributed Acoustic Sensing (DAS). It will observe seismic activity on Moon. “Utilizing the minor imperfections in a long fiber optic cable laid under the moon’s regolith, DAS will transform these flaws into a dense array of seismic sensors," said the report.

A single cable “could offer thousands of individual sensors, a density unachievable with traditional methods," it also said.

The DAS technology is capable of capturing and analyzing the seismic waves disturbed by lunar quakes. It will also provide a granular view of the Moon’s internal machinations.

The method’s efficacy was proven through artificial seismograms derived from Apollo mission data, successfully identifying the ScS seismic wave phase.

In the study, the scientists proposed “the concept of a fiber seismic network on the Moon and discuss its potential in overcoming the challenges in imaging deep Moon structures." 

“We compute lunar synthetic seismograms and evaluate the performance of DAS arrays of different configurations in retrieving the hidden core reflected seismic phase ScS from the strong scattered waves. We find that, compared to a sparse conventional seismic network, a fiber seismic network using tens of kilometers of cable can dramatically increase the chance of observing clear ScS by array stacking," said the study.

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Published: 29 Feb 2024, 05:59 PM IST
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