Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2021-155
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2021-155

  01 Sep 2021

01 Sep 2021

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal AMT.

Infrasound measurement system for real-time in-situ tornado measurements

Brandon C. White, Brian R. Elbing, and Imraan A. Faruque Brandon C. White et al.
  • Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, Oklahoma, USA

Abstract. Previous work suggests that acoustic waves at frequencies below human hearing (infrasound) are produced during tornadogenesis and continue through the life of a tornado, which have potential to locate and profile tornadic events and provide a range improvement relative to current radar capabilities, which are the current primary measurement tool. Confirming and identifying the fluid mechanism responsible for infrasonic production has been impeded by limited availability and quality (propagation-related uncertainty) of tornadic infrasound data. This paper describes an effort to increase the number of measurements and reduce the uncertainty in subsequent analysis by equipping storm chasers and first responders in regular proximity to tornadoes with mobile infrasound measurement capabilities. The study focus is the design, calibration, deployment, and analysis of data collected by a Ground-based Local INfrasound Data Acquisition (GLINDA) system that collects and relays data from an infrasound microphone, GPS receiver, and an IMU. GLINDA has been deployed with storm chasers beginning in May 2020 and has provided continuing real-time automated monitoring of spectrum and peak detection. In analysis of sampled severe weather phenomena, the signal measured from an EFU tornado (Lakin, KS) show an elevated broadband signal between 10 and 15 Hz. A significant hail event produced no significant increase infrasound signal despite rotation in the storm. The consistency of these observations with existing fixed array measurements and real-time tools to reduce measurement uncertainty demonstrates the value of acquiring tornado infrasound observations from mobile on-location systems and introduces a capability for real-time processing and display of mobile infrasonic measurements.

Brandon C. White et al.

Status: open (extended)

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Brandon C. White et al.

Brandon C. White et al.

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Short summary
Tornadic storms have been hypothesized to emit sound at frequencies below human hearing which animals and certain microphones can detect. This study covers the design, fabrication, and deployment of a specialized microphone system that can be carried by first responders and storm chasers. The study also presents real-time processing methods, analyzes several recorded severe weather events including a tornado, and introduces a real-time web interface to allow live monitoring of the mobile sensor.