Explosions produce low-frequency acoustic (infrasound) waves capable of propagating globally, but the spatio-temporal variability of the atmosphere makes detecting events difficult. Machine learning (ML) is well-suited to identify the subtle and nonlinear patterns in explosion infrasound signals, but a previous lack of ground-truth data inhibited training of generalized models. We introduce a physics-based method that propagates infrasound sources through realistic atmospheres to create 28,000 synthetic events, which are used to train ML classifiers. A simple artificial neural network and modern temporal convolutional network discriminate synthetic events from background noise with >90% accuracy and, more importantly, successfully identify the majority of real-world explosion signals recorded during the Humming Road Runner experiment. ML models trained entirely on physics-based synthetics advance explosion detection capabilities and make ML more viable to related fields lacking training data.
Full Publication Link