• picture
  • picture
  • picture
  • picture
Public Radio's Environmental News Magazine (follow us on Google News)

Technology Update

Air Date: Week of

Cynthia Graber reports on a new way of checking the stability of telephone poles.


GRABER: Most folks call them telephone poles, but the nearly 20 million wooden pilings that dot the nation's roads bring more than Ma Bell into your home. They also carry cable TV, high-speed Internet access, and electric power. It can be a pretty heavy load, and making sure the poles aren't rotting takes a lot of time and money. So researchers in Georgia have combined two technologies and came up with a new testing method. First, they hover over a pole in a helicopter and point a laser at the pole. Light measures how much the pole is vibrating in response to sound waves coming from the helicopter's engine. Then they plug the data into a computer, which compares the vibration pattern to that of a healthy pole. Poles that register unhealthy can be visually checked for rotting and replaced or supported if they're about to fall down. That's this week's technology update. I'm Cynthia Graber.



Living on Earth wants to hear from you!

Living on Earth
62 Calef Highway, Suite 212
Lee, NH 03861
Telephone: 617-287-4121
E-mail: comments@loe.org

Newsletter [Click here]

Donate to Living on Earth!
Living on Earth is an independent media program and relies entirely on contributions from listeners and institutions supporting public service. Please donate now to preserve an independent environmental voice.

Living on Earth offers a weekly delivery of the show's rundown to your mailbox. Sign up for our newsletter today!

Sailors For The Sea: Be the change you want to sea.

The Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment: Committed to protecting and improving the health of the global environment.

Contribute to Living on Earth and receive, as our gift to you, an archival print of one of Mark Seth Lender's extraordinary wildlife photographs. Follow the link to see Mark's current collection of photographs.

Buy a signed copy of Mark Seth Lender's book Smeagull the Seagull & support Living on Earth