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Aerial Seismology Using Balloon-Based Barometers

Abstract : Seismology on Venus has long eluded planetary scientists due to extreme temperature and pressure conditions on its surface, which most electronics cannot withstand for mission durations required for ground-based seismic studies. We show that infrasonic (low-frequency) pressure fluctuations, generated as a result of ground motion, produced by an artificial seismic source known as a seismic hammer, and recorded using sensitive microbarometers deployed on a tethered balloon, are able to replicate the frequency content of ground motion. We also show that weak, artificial seismic activity thus produced may be geolocated by using multiple airborne barometers. The success of this technique paves the way for balloon-based aero- seismology, leading to a potentially revolutionary method to perform seismic studies from a remote airborne station on the earth and solar system objects with substantial atmospheres such as Venus and Titan.
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Siddharth Krishnamoorthy, Voon Hui Lai, Attila Komjathy, Michael T. Pauken, James A. Cutts, et al.. Aerial Seismology Using Balloon-Based Barometers. IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, 2019, 57 (12), pp.10191-10201. ⟨10.1109/TGRS.2019.2931831⟩. ⟨hal-02880283⟩

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