International Federation of Digital Seismograph Networks

1R (2016-2023): Seismo Acoustic Study of Rocket Launches from Kennedy Space Center

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FDSN Network Information

FDSN code 1R (2016-2023) Network name Seismo Acoustic Study of Rocket Launches from Kennedy Space Center (Rocket Seis)
Start year 2016 Operated by
  • University of South Florida (USF), United States of America
End year 2023 Deployment region -

Since February 2016 I have had a Trillium C-PH 120s and an array of infraBSU sensors deployed at Kennedy Space Center (KSC) and I have recorded ~15 rocket launches. The primary motivations have been (1) to test and our calibrate our sensors, and (2) to train students in seismic field techniques as a component of a time series analysis class that I teach. Soon I am planning to telemeter our primary site, BCHH, to the USF seismic lab. Occasionally this network has been augmented by up to 3 additional stations, and that has given us hints of the more complex seismic-acoustic wavefield. For example, we find that the amplitude of the rocket jet noise increases with radial distance from the rocket. We are exploring techniques to determine the trajectory of rockets based on amplitude-source location (a method I co-developed for locating pyroclastic density currents and lahars), and the Doppler shift recorded. And we are exploring if there are characteristic differences in the waveforms and spectra of Falcon-9, Atlas-5 and Delta-IV rockets, which is hard to tease out from a single station because the launch sites & distances are also different. To be able to explore these questions better, we need a temporary deployment of additional stations and a wider aperture network. The first experiment would be to deploy all sensors at our primary site, the Astronaut Beach House (station BCHH), to conduct a huddle test during a rocket launch. The second experiment would be to deploy a linear array to understand better the P, S and surface wave structure at Kennedy Space Center & verify the amplitude-vs-distance decay law for seismic and acoustic waves. For this we would likely use a static launch test (rocket engines ignite, but rocket stays on the ground) rather than a launch. The third and primary experiment, would be to deploy a 7-station network of L-22 short period seismometers and RT130 dataloggers & leave this in place for at least 6 months to capture several launches. The network would have an aperture of about 15 to 20-km.

Citation Information

Digital Object Identifier (DOI) 10.7914/SN/1R_2018
For more: DataCite ( JSON | XML | BibTeX )

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