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NEC tests technology that accurately predicts landslide risk

*** For immediate use June 29, 2015

Tokyo, June 29, 2015 - NEC Corporation (NEC; TSE: 6701) today announced that it has begun verification tests of technology that calculates the landslide risk of hillsides to a high degree of accuracy by analyzing the amount of moisture contained in the soil. The tests are being carried out in Tsuwano, Shimane Prefecture, Japan, and make use of NEC-developed data analysis techniques that enable a slope's landslide risk level to be ascertained in real-time based on the amount of moisture present in the soil.

In addition to soil-moisture sensors, NEC is also conducting validation tests using vibration sensors. NEC has discovered a correlation between the weight, groundwater pressure, viscosity and frictional properties of sedimentary soil - which all change depending on the amount of moisture contained in the soil - and the soil's vibrational characteristics. In these tests, NEC is verifying whether or not it is possible to ascertain the landslide risk of the soil on a slope based on changes in these vibrational characteristics.

One source of information that local authorities rely on in order to issue evacuation advisories prior to a landslide is the "Risk of Sediment Disaster" warning information that is issued by the Japan Meteorological Agency in conjunction with each prefectural government. In addition to this warning information, local governments evaluate landslide risk by gathering information from assets such as surveillance cameras, wire sensors and gradient sensors (tiltmeters) that are installed on the slopes themselves. However, these methods may only provide a small window of time prior to the actual occurrence of a landslide.

"Moving forward, NEC will continue to advance testing of this technology in collaboration with local governments, universities and research institutions, with the aim of achieving an early-stage commercial application and global deployment of an advanced warning landslide system," said  Kazuo Watanabe, Deputy General Manager, Fire and Disaster Prevention Solutions Division, NEC Corporation.


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