Process of detecting illegal nuclear tests improved

November 4th, 2008 - 4:53 pm ICT by ANI  

Amsterdam, Nov 4 (ANI): Researchers working at the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute KNMI has improved the entire process of measuring, analyzing and interpreting infrasound, which would help them detect events that have inaudible sounds like illegal nuclear tests.

Sources of infrasound are often large and powerful, like meteors, explosions, ocean waves, storms, volcanoes, avalanches, earthquakes and nuclear tests.

Infrasound is measured with arrays (series) of highly sensitive microbarometers.

TU Delft PhD student Laslo Evers, who works at the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute KNMI, has now improved the entire process of measuring, analysing and interpreting infrasound.

Large explosions in the vicinity are easy to recognize, for example the explosion of a fuel depot near London in 2005.

At home, Evers saw a huge peak above the noise on his computer screen. He knew immediately that something big had happened in England.

But the main purpose of his work is the detection of above-ground nuclear tests. For this purpose, dozens of microbarometers have been set up on five sites in the Netherlands.

This would help to enforce the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty of 1996, which prohibits signatories from testing nuclear devices.

According to Evers, to further refine the analyses, we need to know more about the interaction between the earths atmosphere and infrasound.

Evers also wants to use information gleaned from infrasound to map the upper atmosphere more accurately.

He is planning to conduct research in this field together with the Department of Acoustic Remote Sensing of the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering at TU Delft. (ANI)

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