Recent Advances in Infrasound Science for National Security Applications

Thursday, 18 December 2014: 2:00 PM
Stephen Arrowsmith, Philip S. Blom, Omar E Marcillo and Rodney W Whitaker, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM, United States
Infrasound is sound below the frequency-threshold of human hearing, covering the frequency range from 0.01 – 20 Hz. Infrasound science studies the generation, propagation, measurement, and analysis of infrasound. Sources of infrasound include a wide variety of energetic natural and manmade phenomena that include chemical and nuclear explosions, rockets and missiles, and aircraft. The dominant factors influencing the propagation of infrasound are the spatial and temporal variations in temperature, wind speed, and wind direction. In recent years, Infrasound Science has experienced a renaissance due to the installation of an international monitoring system of 60 infrasound arrays for monitoring the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, and to the demonstrated value of regional infrasound networks for both scientific and applied purposes. Furthermore, in the past decade, significant advances have been made on using measurements of infrasound to invert for these properties of the atmosphere at altitudes where alternative measurement techniques are extremely costly. This presentation provides a review of recent advances in infrasound science as relevant to National Security applications.