What do you get when you mash up images from Google Earth, stats from the electric grid and power grid behaviour modelling and simulation? A real-time status of the national electric grid that federal state and local agencies can use to coordinate and respond to major problems such as wide-area power outages, natural disasters and other catastrophic events.
Networkworld.com describes the potential of a new programme at Oak Ridge National Labs: the Visualizing Energy Resources Dynamically on Earth (VERDE) system.
VERDE will enhance situational awareness and speed recovery times from power outages. The tool will be able to predict the transmission lines particularly at risk of storm damage as well as the population in specific areas likely to lose power as a result of destructive winds from storms.
According to Networkedworld.com
Protecting the power grid is also one of the goals behind a new project at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. Researchers there were recently awarded a National Science Foundation grant to perform an experiment called the Active Magnetosphere and Planetary Electrodynamics Response Experiment (AMPERE) that will employ the Iridium constellation of 66 communications satellites and software to measure the electric currents that link Earth’s atmosphere and space.
By measuring this component of the space weather system, AMPERE will allow 24/7 tracking of Earth’s response to supersonic blasts of plasma ejected from the sun, which can damage satellites high-altitude aircraft and electric power grids.