Innoseis and its game changing technology originate from gravitational waves research conducted at the National Institute of Subatomic Physics (Nikhef) in the Netherlands. The scientists involved, and their global collaborative community, are reveling in the limelight in the wake of last weeks’ monumental discovery: The first direct detection of a gravitational wave. Innoseis would like to congratulate the gravitational waves community on this phenomenal achievement. Despite the fundamental nature of this discovery, day-to-day application of the arisen technology is already taking place.
Innoseis is a spin-off company of Nikhef’s gravitational waves program, and has been featured as an excellent example of how fundamental physics can lead to commercial applications and industrial partnerships for solutions to today’s challenges. Innoseis co-founder Prof. Jo van den Brand appears regularly in media due to his influential role in this scientific discovery. He was recently also awarded the prestigious FOM valorization prize for his efforts in bringing fundamental physics research to practical application.
Gravitational waves are minute distortions in the gravitational field caused by large astrophysical phenomena. The waves presented last week originated from the cataclysmic collision of two black holes, some 1.3 billion light years away. Despite the enormity of the wave’s source, the effects here on Earth are almost immeasurable. The deformity in space caused by the wave amounts to a change in distance of a thousandth of the width of a proton in an apparatus several kilometers across. In order to detect these minute vibrations great care must be taken to isolate the detectors from external noise sources, for example, seismic rumblings from distant earthquakes or passing traffic. In doing so, scientists develop cutting edge technology, some of which finds its way into commercial applications.
Innoseis leverages this technology and knowledge to create the lowest power and therefore lightest autonomous seismic recording system. Networks of these instruments will be used in seismic surveys where up-to hundreds of thousands of sensors are employed to synchronously measure vibrations of the earth. Careful manipulation of the resulting data allows detailed images of the earth’s sub-surface to be reconstructed. A partnership with Shell was forged early on in order to fine-tune the technology towards the industry’s requirements. Such collaboration accelerates the product development and, in turn, allows Nikhef’s scientists to more quickly reapply the technology to their own physics experiments.
This detection is just the start of many more to come and hails the beginning of a whole new field of astronomy and a tool with which to better understand the Universe and its make-up.
Mark Beker, CEO Innoseis, email firstname.lastname@example.org, www.innoseis.com
The full article on the detection of Gravitational Waves with mention of Innoseis can be found here (in Dutch): http://www.nrc.nl/handelsblad/2016/02/13/de-ruimte-rimpelt-1590019
An excellent general article on the discovery in English can be found here: