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The Military Science

Exploding Munitions Caught On Seismometer (arstechnica.com) 20

An anonymous reader writes: Seismometers have been deployed throughout the world. Scientists need a big web of them to gather data about earthquakes, and the network has expanded widely over the past 60 years. As it turns out, seismometers are pretty good at picking up vibrations from things that aren't earthquakes. A team of researchers scouring logs from 2006 were able to find clear evidence of the explosion of a munitions depot in Iraq. And that's not all: "The team, led by Ghassan Aleqabi of Washington University in St. Louis, carefully analyzed each wiggle on the seismograph and discovered it could identify a number of different things. The firing of a mortar, for example, was identifiable along with the explosion when the shell landed. Car bomb explosions also stood out, although the bouncing of the shockwave off surrounding buildings made each one a bit different. The team could even identify signals from drones and helicopters and figure out if they were approaching or moving away based on the Doppler shift."
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Exploding Munitions Caught On Seismometer

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    Oh my god stop the presses! Thing that can detect shockwaves... detected shockwaves! Hooolllleeee sheeeeeeet!

    • by pjt33 ( 739471 )

      With much more precision than most people would expect, to the extent that there are possibly applications in, for example, automatic response to ambushes before anyone radios in for help.

      • No, the ammo dump was 7 kilometers away. Dare I suggest opening the window someone could discern the different explosion types too, and maybe even listen for helicopters?

        ending 2015 with a stupid article, as expected of slashdot

    • The orders of magnitude between a volcanic or tectonic event and a drone or helicopter Doppler effect is staggering. Picking up an prop engine is impressive, any kind of directional information is way beyond what I would expect from ground sensors. It's like someone operating Doppler weather radar calling me to say there was a moth circling my front porch light. If I read this in a DARPA grant proposal I would be derisive... this level of sensitivity would imply a lot of (seemingly) white noise in seismogra
      • by KGIII ( 973947 )

        I'm inclined to agree. This is much more interesting than folks here seem to think. Maybe it's just me but I love tech news and this certainly qualifies. Anyone who claims that they expected or knew this, prior to this article, is full of shit or better have their names on this paper or some other article that predates this. I am, by no means, even remotely an expert but I've watched a shitton of documentaries over the years - many had segments on detecting things with a seismometer, and nothing indicated t

  • by Anonymous Coward

    It sound bull to me. If this was true, also all passenger planes, etc.

  • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Thursday December 31, 2015 @03:11AM (#51214195)

    He got out of bed and the seismographs had him pinpointed.

  • ... that would be a signal so small it would be in the noise, along with animal and human footsteps, vehicle and air traffic, and the wind.

  • Turning the entire world into a microphone!

  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_Force_Technical_Applications_Center knows how to get a LOT of data out of seismometer ...

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