At the intersection of consumer technology and science research, you’ll find a rapidly growing field called citizen science. While serious scientific research used to be relegated to universities, private companies, and governments, technology has allowed average people to get involved. In 2016, the Raspberry Shake brought accessible seismography to citizen scientists, and now the team is back with an infrasound monitoring device, Raspberry Boom, which is now live Kickstarter.
Like the Raspberry Shake, the Raspberry Boom is built on top of a Raspberry Pi and is designed to be part of a worldwide network of devices. It can be purchased as a ready-to-go turnkey solution, or the board and sensor can be bought separately to build yourself. In both cases, the Raspberry Boom lets you and the whole citizen science community monitor infrasounds.
Infrasound is any sound below the range of human hearing — about 20Hz. That can cover everything from weather like tornadoes and lightning, to astronomical phenomena like meteor impacts, to geological events like volcanic eruptions and avalanches. Because the sound frequencies are so low, they can travel over huge distances. But, that also means that they can be hard for traditional microphones to detect.
To overcome that, the Raspberry Boom uses a custom sensor that was developed with the help of infrasound sensor pioneer Dr. Jeffrey Johnson. The infrasound recordings from all over the globe can then be monitored by anyone that’s part of the network. Multiple recordings of the same event could even possibly be used to triangulate the epicenter of that even.
Raspberry Boom has a lot of potential for the scientific study of infrasound, and is a great way to get involved in the burgeoning citizen science community.