Using low frequency environmental sound and vibration to detect natural disasters and nuclear explosions
Low frequency Acoustics, Ultrasound and Vibration (AUV) phenomena in air, water and ground are used to detect major natural events such as earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanic activity. Low frequency AUV is also used by the International Monitoring System (IMS) to check compliance with the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty. However, the majority of the frequency ranges used for this kind of sound and vibration monitoring are not covered by current measurement standards, limiting the reliability of data obtained. Monitoring stations are also often located in extreme environments posing additional challenges for assuring the accuracy of the sensors.
The project will develop new primary calibration methods for airborne and underwater acoustic, and vibration sensing systems down to, and below, the low frequency range of 0.1 Hz. Secondary calibration methods for working standards will also be developed to enable traceability and reliability of sensors deployed in live environmental monitoring networks. Following the end of the project in 2023 these are expected to be incorporated in new international standards and aid more accurate and traceable measurements for both natural and man-made environmental events.