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Science in our daily lives

Juliette Dunglas - 5/12/2018

At the interface: Ange and society

La science dans notre quotidien - Ange

What do the Institut Physique du Globe (IPGP), NumTech and HydroTube Energie all have in common? Specialising respectively in natural hazards, air quality and water power, these organisations employ models for the purposes of forecasting, management and innovation.

Prevention is better than cure

Following the recent earthquakes that have occurred in Indonesia and Chile, we are faced once again with the eternal question “How can we stop this from happening?”. In the aftermath of an earthquake, research is capable of supplying a number of points of entry when it comes to attempting to developing a better understanding of the movement of the earth’s crust. This starts with geophysicists, who are responsible for gathering and analysing earthquake-related data, including its magnitude, its epicentre, its duration, the extent of the damage, etc. This vital information is then used to supply a database containing information on seismic movements across the world. Using this data, mathematicians and IT engineers are able to build models that allow them to test scenarios through the use of simulation tools. These models give geologists more information regarding potential future seismic movements.

Adapting to the situation 

Air pollution is a fact. The unavoidable nature of it means that the best solution is now to find a way of managing it in order to minimise the impact it has on both urban and rural environments. As such, it is necessary to understand it and the parameters that cause it to vary in order to be able to anticipate it. Once these aspects have been studied, the task is then to create a database to be used with work instruments in the development of models. The same operating method is deployed when it comes to managing pollution. Companies such as NumTech provide expertise on subjects such as atmospheric dispersion, meteorology and air quality, drawing on these models for assistance. This is the proposition involved in the Ambicitiapplication, which has been developed by Inria and which provides information on pollution and noise levels in real time, in addition to informing users of the “cleanest” route to take in order to reach their destination.  

Getting the most out of water

“Know your enemy”. This is an adage that could be applied to the work carried out by HydroTube Energie. Modelling currents in rivers or estuaries makes it possible to optimise marine current power equipment. This is a green energy source that has developed into a key battleground from the point of view of innovation, providing sustainable, environmentally-friendly solutions. This work has been made possible thanks to these models. 

A team capable of getting the best out of science   

IPGPNumTech and HydroTube all share one thing in common. They use algorithms developed at Inria by the Ange project team. From developing models and designing digital tools right through to simulations, this team specialises in the fields of natural hazards, marine energy and pollution. They work in tandem with specialists from other disciplines in order to develop as precise an understanding as possible of physical phenomena (whether geological, energy-based or meteorological), the goal being to design mathematical models and then digital simulations.

This project team is attached to Sorbonne University, the CNRS and CEREMA.

Quotes supplied by Jacques Sainte-Marie, head of the Ange project team

Keywords: Ange Inria Paris Modelling Optimisation IPGP HydroTube Energie Ambiciti Numtech