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Metrology for low-frequency sound and vibration

19ENV03 Infra-AUV

This project is a joint research project within the European Metrology Research Programme EMPIR. The major goals and objectives of the project are given in the downloadable Publishable Summary. A brief outline is given below.

In order to get in contact for more details, email the Coordinator.


Using low frequency environmental sound and vibration to detect natural disasters and nuclear explosions

Low frequency acoustics phenomena in both air and in the ocean, and vibration or seismic activity in the ground or seabed, are used to detect major natural events such as earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanic activity. These technologies are also used to check compliance with the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty, using a global network of sound and vibration sensors together with radio-nuclear sensing, forming the International Monitoring System. However, the majority of the frequencies 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.

This project brings together for the first time, world-leading expertise in sound and vibration metrology and in geophysical monitoring of low frequency phenomena, providing the project consortium with the best expertise and access to facilities to address the identified measurement requirements.

 The project will develop new primary calibration methods for airborne and underwater acoustic, and vibration sensing systems at frequencies significantly below current capability. Secondary calibration methods for devices that can be transferred to the field will also be developed, to enable traceability and reliability of sensors deployed in live environmental monitoring networks. Calibration methods that can be applied in the field will also be investigated. Extending measurement traceability in this way will improve the reliability of measurements for both natural and man-made environmental events.

Closer to home, low frequency environmental noise is a modern-day problem with less severe, but nevertheless widespread impact. Developments in this project will also improve the assessment reliability of low frequency environmental noise nuisance cases.