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This content will become publicly available on February 22, 2019

Title: Acoustic Event Location and Background Noise Characterization on a Free Flying Infrasound Sensor Network in the Stratosphere

We present that a variety of Earth surface and atmospheric sources generate low frequency sound waves that can travel great distances. Despite a rich history of ground-based sensor studies, very few experiments have investigated the prospects of free floating microphone arrays at high altitudes. However, recent initiatives have shown that such networks have very low background noise and may sample an acoustic wave field that is fundamentally different than that at Earth’s surface. The experiments have been limited to at most two stations at altitude, making acoustic event detection and localization difficult. We describe the deployment of four drifting microphone stations at altitudes between 21 and 24 km above sea level. The stations detected one of two regional ground-based chemical explosions as well as the ocean microbarom while traveling almost 500 km across the American Southwest. The explosion signal consisted of multiple arrivals; signal amplitudes did not correlate with sensor elevation or source range. The waveforms and propagation patterns suggest interactions with gravity waves in the 35-45 km altitude. A sparse network method that employed curved wave front corrections was able to determine the backazimuth from the free flying network to the acoustic source. Episodic signals similar to those seenmore » on previous flights in the same region were noted, but their source remains unclear. Lastly, background noise levels were commensurate with those on infrasound stations in the International Monitoring System below 2 seconds.« less
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  1. Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 0956-540X; 660703
Grant/Contract Number:
AC04-94AL85000; NA0003525
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Geophysical Journal International
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 213; Journal Issue: 3; Journal ID: ISSN 0956-540X
Oxford University Press
Research Org:
Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)
Country of Publication:
United States
OSTI Identifier: