Measuring Wind with Microphones

a microphone used in the studyNOAA Earth System Researcher Laboratory researchers Oleg Godin (of CIRES), and Vladimir Irisov and Mikhail Charnotskii (of ZelTech) are coauthors of a recently published proof-of-concept study, which used the traffic noise along the Boulder–Longmont, CO "Diagonal Highway" to accurately measure wind speed. The technique used is called acoustic tomography, and it is similar to the use of sonar (sound navigation and ranging) to map underwater objects and measure temperatures below the ocean surface.

“We have demonstrated for the first time that we can use ambient noise to measure wind speeds,” says lead author, Godin."

The method could be used to cheaply measure wind speed and direction in the atmosphere, critical information for weather forecasts, or even to study the rotation of Earth’s core.

Read the full news release at CIRES.