Assessing ageing bridges just got safer and easier, thanks to a high-tech radar device that fits inside a suitcase.
Developed by Dr Lihai Zhang of The University of Melbourne as part of a collaborative research project supported by The Australia-Indonesia Centre, the IBIS-S radar technology can scan a bridge in 15 minutes from a kilometre away with an accuracy of 0.01mm, quickly assessing its condition and stability.
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The work of Indonesian and Australian scientists is resulting in re evaluation of Jakarta’s seismic risk by Indonesian Government agencies.
The team is scanning the Earth from thousands of kilometres in the air, right down to chemical traces found in rocks, as they hunt out telltale signs of future earthquakes and the damage they might do. They’ve highlighted a major new seismic threat for East Java as well as the tsunami threat to Bali, Lombok, Nusa Tenggara, and other coasts along the Flores Sea; and have identified active faults in the Nusa Tenggara region of Eastern Indonesia, measuring the rates of strain building up.
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Ninety-nine per cent of all tsunami-related deaths have occurred in the Asia-Pacific region, according to the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific. Indonesian and Australian scientists have been working to reduce this figure—by creating artificial earthquakes and tsunamis.
Building off more than 15 years of research from Indonesian, Singaporean, American, and Australian scientists, the team created a collection of scenarios, for earthquakes of different magnitudes and the resulting tsunamis that would affect West Sumatra, Indonesia.
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Indonesian and Australian scientists are part of a team searching for buried treasure: using the movement of tectonic plates to predict when and where giant deposits of gold and copper should form, while building an understanding of the conditions these deposits are created in.
The project, which was begun in 2013 and due for completion in 2016, is using Southeast Asia as a ‘natural laboratory’ to explore these natural processes and their products. Knowing when and how deposits formed can help us understand geological processes occurring today.
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Indonesian street vendors are the new muses of Australian and Indonesian architecture students, who are creating sustainable shelters to help vendors keep trading in style.
Known as Pedagang Kaki Lima (‘five legs’), the travelling street vendors not only play a crucial role in Indonesia’s economy, they’ve also become an icon of resilience and bravery following the January 2016 Jakarta terrorist attacks—where photos of vendors and the meme “keep calm and BBQ satay” were shared widely on Twitter.
Continue reading Trading in style: students designing shelters for Indonesia’s street vendors