Long‐Term Infrasound Sensor Calibration and Characterization


Previous testing has shown that infrasound sensors deployed in the field can exhibit notable deviations from their nominal, lab‐based calibrations. These variations may be due to changes in environmental conditions, long‐term sensor drift, or other unresolved features. In early 2018, we installed two identical infrasound elements with five infrasound sensors at each element (Chaparral M50A, Chaparral M64LN, CEA/Martec MB2005, CEA/Seismowave MB3a, and Hyperion IFS‐5113A). These sensors were accepted or under consideration for use in the International Monitoring System network of the Comprehensive Nuclear‐Test‐Ban Treaty. Each element had all sensors connected to a single digitizer and port to the atmosphere. We also recorded instrument enclosure air temperature and humidity and external air temperature. Using the MB2005 as the reference, we examine the relative sensor response (both magnitude and phase) as a function of time and frequency and compare it with quarterly laboratory calibrations and environmental conditions. We find that the magnitude response for all sensors exhibits some variability in both the lab and field, with the amplitude variations often >5%. The field‐based variations are more severe and occur on both long‐term (months) and short‐term (hours) timescales. Short‐term variability correlates with changes in environmental conditions and is considerable (up to 25%) for the Chaparral M50A and noticeable (∼5%) for the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) MB3a. Long‐term magnitude variability for the Chaparral M50A was up to 50% and does not clearly correlate with environmental conditions. The other sensors show some long‐term magnitude offsets, but they have relatively stable responses in the conditions we examined. The MB3a also displays some frequency‐dependent magnitude variability and shows a minor dependence on temperature. Phase estimates are stable and near zero for all sensors tested. These results strongly suggest sensor response and variability due to environmental conditions should be considered in future infrasound data interpretation and sensor selection and development.


David Fee (1) and Bion John Merchant (2)

1. Wilson Alaska Technical Center, Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska Fairbanks

2. Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, New Mexico, U.S.A.

Published Date