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Excellent Science INNOVATION
Simplified versions of the ultra-accurate strain sensor
Market Maturity: Exploring
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Market Creation Potential
This innovation was assessed by the JRC’s Market Creation Potential indicator framework as addressing the needs of existing markets and existing customers. Learn more
Go to Market needs
Needs that, if addressed, can increase the chances this innovation gets to (or closer to) the market incude:
  • Prepare for Market entry
  • Scale-up market opportunities
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Key Innovators
UN Sustainable Development Goals(SDG)
This innovation contributes to the following SDG(s)
Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation

The UN explains: "Investments in infrastructure – transport, irrigation, energy and information and communication technology – are crucial to achieving sustainable development and empowering communities in many countries. It has long been recognized that growth in productivity and incomes, and improvements in health and education outcomes require investment in infrastructure."

Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat deertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss

The UN explains: "Forests cover 30 per cent of the Earth’s surface and in addition to providing food security and shelter, forests are key to combating climate change, protecting biodiversity and the homes of the indigenous population. Thirteen million hectares of forests are being lost every year while the persistent degradation of drylands has led to the desertification of 3.6 billion hectares."

The EU-funded Research Project
This innovation was developed under the Horizon 2020 project SiC nano for PicoGeo with an end date of 31/10/2023
  • Read more about this project on CORDIS
Description of Project SiC nano for PicoGeo
The project addresses an innovative and radical vision, enabled by a new technology concept that challenges current paradigms of high resolution strain detection for Geoscience and Geohazard monitoring. The goal is the development of a radically new dynamic ground strain measurement technology with an ultra-high resolution of 10-12 that is about two order of magnitude better than the presently available technology. The new technology is based on combining the high performance 3C-SiC material with a high Young modulus (almost 3 times higher than silicon) that improves the sensibility of the actual strain sensor, with fiber lasers for novel all-optical closed-loop operation of the resonator. This design gives the opportunity to use an electronic readout far from the borehole and easily accessible out of the deep drilling. In geophysical monitoring the proposed innovative instrument will allow to detect precisions not obtainable with the current instruments. Ultra small and slow strain transients preceding earthquakes and eruptions could be revealed and both new understanding of the volcano and of the seismology process can be obtained. This new sensor will strongly reduce the cost of the strain sensor and will promote a large impulse in the physics study of both the volcanic areas and of the seismogenic faults. Moreover, the small dimension and the cheap cost will allow to monitor a dense vertical profile of strain along a same hole. Therefore, the project outcomes will have direct implications in forecasting volcanic eruptions and thus improve volcano-seismic crisis management. At the end of the project a start-up of one innovative frontier laboratory for advanced monitoring of dynamic strain associated to volcanic and seismic processes will be done. This “Pico strain Etna Lab” will be the starting point of a new network infrastructure that could support and improve the main volcanic regions and the main faults in Europe.

Innnovation Radar's analysis of this innovation is based on data collected on 21/01/2021.
The unique id of this innovation in the European Commission's IT systems is: 20454