Articles | Volume 17, issue 1
31 Jan 1999
31 Jan 1999

Acoustic tomography in the atmospheric surface layer

A. Ziemann, K. Arnold, and A. Raabe

Abstract. Acoustic tomography is presented as a technique for remote monitoring of meteorological quantities. This method and a special algorithm of analysis can directly produce area-averaged values of meteorological parameters. As a result consistent data will be obtained for validation of numerical atmospheric micro-scale models. Such a measuring system can complement conventional point measurements over different surfaces. The procedure of acoustic tomography uses the horizontal propagation of sound waves in the atmospheric surface layer. Therefore, to provide a general overview of sound propagation under various atmospheric conditions a two-dimensional ray-tracing model according to a modified version of Snell's law is used. The state of the crossed atmosphere can be estimated from measurements of acoustic travel time between sources and receivers at different points. Derivation of area-averaged values of the sound speed and furthermore of air temperature results from the inversion of travel time values for all acoustic paths. Thereby, the applied straight ray two-dimensional tomographic model using SIRT (simultaneous iterative reconstruction technique) is characterised as a method with small computational requirements, satisfactory convergence and stability properties as well as simple handling, especially, during online evaluation.

Key words. Meteorology and atmospheric dynamics (turbulence; instruments and techniques).