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International Station for the Forecasting of Earthquakes ATROPATENA-AZ1, Baku, Azerbaijan

The international station of forecasting of earthquakes, ATROPATENA-AZ1, has been put into operation on April, 04th, 2007 in the Scientific research institute of forecasting and studying of earthquakes, Baku, Azerbaijan.

Station Atropatena AZ-1

A new instrument for experimental study of the space-time variations of measured values of G was created, called an ATROPATENA detector by the authors. The maker of ATROPATENA stations has an application for PCT patent.

ATROPATENA is a closed and environmentally isolated system of sensors, using the physical principle of Cavendish balance, where two balance-beams(instead of one) are hung on threads with small weights on the ends 2, and these balance-beams are situated mutually perpendicular. Between small weights, placed on the ends of two balance beams, equally spaced, are placed the big weights 3, Fig.1 (a).

In addition, there is a third measuring sensor - the trial mass 4, hung on a special elastic lever with the possibility of vertical displacements during changes of the relative values of acceleration of gravity Δg. Variations of Δg are stipulated for lunisolar floods and for appearance of local gravitational anomalies, which can be caused by the changing of density of rock mass under the instrument as a result of the changing of their stress condition, and consequently their mass.

As seen in the scheme, on the balance-beams with the weights 2 and on the lever of vertical sensor 4, there are tiny mirrors on which three laser beams are directed. Being reflected from the mirrors, the beams hit the sensitive optical matrix 6 and 7, whereupon optical signals from lasers are transformed into electric signals and transmitted into an analog-to-digital converter. After that, the digital signal is transformed to a special block of the computer with the next record in special format. The software, written at the Scientific-Research Institute of Prognosis and Studying the Earthquakes (SRIPSE), automatically records the information in the form of separate files for a definite period of time, determined by the operator.

In Fig.1 (a) is schematically shown the instrument ATROPATENA-AZ1.

The entire sensor system is placed into the special environmentally isolated glass body 1, where a deep vacuum has been created and is constantly supported (10-4 MPa).

Temperature sensors accurate to 0,1C0, are located in different spheres of the sensor system, and are connected to the system temperature control block. In the room where ATROPATENA-AZ1 is located, the permanent temperature is kept within ± 10 C.

For excluding mechanical effects and for better heat insulation, the vacuum body with sensor system is placed into a translucent plastic body, which also allows visually observing the work of the system (Fig. 1b).

ATROPATENA-AZ1 is also provided with a digital seismic station using a three-component seismic receiver, the data from which is also transmitted to the computer and is continuously digitally recorded in three channels X, Y, Z.

The registration of seismic fluctuations is necessary in order to exclude the possible influence of these fluctuations on destabilization of detector ATROPATENA-AZ1’s sensor system and the appearance of false anomalies caused by seismic processes.

The remote control of the detector and remote pickup of information minimize the external influences on the sensor system.


       a)                                                       b)

Fig.1. The scheme of the construction (a) and the photo (b) of detector ATROPATENA-AZ1. 1 – glass body of the detector; 2 – balance-beams with small weights on the ends; 3 – big weights; 4 – trial weight, which is hung on elastic lever; 5 – laser emitters, 6 – sensitive optical matrix for horizontal sensors, 7 – sensitive optical matrix for vertical sensor.

All elements of the sensor system have been made of non-metallic materials to exclude the influence of magnetic field and electromagnetic radiation on these elements. ATROPATENA-AZ1 is located in the building of Scientific Research Institute of Prognosis and Studying of Earthquakes in Baku (Azerbaijan). Since 1 April 2007 the station has been fully operational, and is receiving high-quality information about variations of gravitational field in time and in three axes X, Y, Z; the seismologic information is simultaneously recorded by means of the Tethys-SD wide-band digital seismic station. Earlier, ATROPATENA-AZ1 was provided for experimental research of possible influence of super-long gravitational waves on the indications of a Cavendish balance.

If you proceed from classical ideas of fundamental physics, then the detector ATROPATENA-AZ1 is, at first sight, an absolutely senseless instrument, as it is considered incontestable that the gravitational constant is a fundamental constant and cannot be changed in time or in space. But the author didn't rule out the possibility of super-long gravitational waves influencing the Cavendish balance and wanted to check that idea (10).

Meanwhile, ATROPATENA-AZ1 has registered numerous signals which have definite regularities and high correlation with strong earthquakes in different regions of the Earth’s Eastern Hemisphere.

Fig.2 shows the schematic sketch of the actual orientation of Cavendish balance in the ATROPATENA-AZ1 station. The sketch represents the view from above; X and Y designate correspondingly oriented balance-beams with small weights on the ends, and m1 and m2 are big weights. S, N, W, E designate accordingly north, south, west, east.

To keep the text convenient, we called the recordings of the ATROPATENA-AZ1 detector “gravitograms," by analogy with seismograms. The detailed study of gravitograms with anomalous deflections of measured values of G can explain subtler physical nuances of these processes.

We want to remind that on the gravitograms the graph Gx reflects the movement of the balance-beam X, and the graph GY reflects the movement of the balance-beam Y (Fig.2), the graph GZ reflects the changes of gravity, that is, the vertical movements of the trial weight. And the increasing of values GX and GY means approaching of small weights on the balance-beams with big weights, and decreasing - moving away from the big weights. Conventional units shown on the coordinate axis reflect the deviation amplitude of small weights on the ends of balance-beams relative to big weights.

The registration of all three sensor values is carried out with discontinuity in one second. Usage of 645 nm red lasers and special optical matrixes for registration of the laser mark and its displacements allow registration of the deviations of laser-beams to 0.1 angular degrees. The whole process of registration takes place in digital form automatically, without participation of the operator, and the received time series are archived by means of a special program.

We also want to note that these deviations correspond to variations of gravitational constant G in the third and fourth digits after the decimal.


Staff of station Atropatena-AZ

Mr. Iskandar Kafarov - Regional Director of GNFE in Azerbaijan and Director of international station Atropatena-AZ

Mr. Nazim Eyvazov - Specialist

Mr. Hasan Shafiev - Specialist

Mr. Farid Aliev - Specialist