Infrasound and Seismic Recordings of Rocket Launches from Kennedy Space Center, 2016-2017
We installed a temporary 3-station seismic-infrasound network at Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in February 2016 to test sensor calibrations and train students in field deployment and data acquisitions techniques. Each station featured a single broadband 3-component seismometer and a 3-element infrasound array. In May 2016 the network was scaled back to a single station due to other projects competing for equipment.
To date 8 rocket launches have been recorded by the infrasound array, as well as 2 static tests, 1 aborted launch and 1 rocket explosion (see next abstract). Of the rocket launches recorded 4 were SpaceX Falcon-9, 2 were ULA Atlas-5 and 2 were ULA Delta-IV.
A question we attempt to answer is whether the rocket engine type and launch trajectory can be estimated with appropriate travel-time, amplitude-ratio and spectral techniques. For example, there is a clear Doppler shift in seismic and infrasound spectrograms from all launches, with lower frequencies occurring later in the recorded signal as the rocket accelerates away from the array. Another question of interest is whether there are relationships between jet noise frequency, thrust and/or nozzle velocity. Infrasound data may help answer these questions.
We are now in the process of deploying a permanent seismic and infrasound array at the Astronaut Beach House. 10 more rocket launches are schedule before AGU. NASA is also conducting a series of 33 sonic booms over KSC beginning on Aug 21st. Launches and other events at KSC have provided rich sources of signals that are useful to characterize and gain insight into physical processes and wave generation from man-made sources.
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Citation / Publisher Attribution
Presented at the AGU Fall Meeting on December 15, 2017 in New Orleans, LA
Scholar Commons Citation
McNutt, Stephen R.; Thompson, Glenn; Brown, Robert G.; Braunmiller, Jochen; Farrell, Alexandra; and Mehta, Christopher A., "Infrasound and Seismic Recordings of Rocket Launches from Kennedy Space Center, 2016-2017" (2017). School of Geosciences Faculty and Staff Publications. 2184.