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Music Behind A Storm

Measuring the intensity of rain through the sound that it makes

By Louie Jane Zamora (Ateneo M.S. ECE Student)

Every year, the Philippines is always visited by quite a number of typhoons. Millions of pesos are lost from the destruction of agriculture, live stocks and properties whenever a strong typhoon visits the country. And aside from this, the Philippines also experiences casually rain related disasters. Just Last August 20008, MV Princess of the Stars, a ship that traveled to the Visayas region was a victim of the devastating power brought about by the typhoon named Frank which killed about 1600 people instantly. Although there was weather forecast of typhoons within the country, this is just a prediction which is not 100% accurate. This shows that there is no way for the citizens to be able to identify the plausible disasters caused by rain on a real time basis. Moreover, the rainy season in a tropical regions is considered as something that may cause disasters compared to the rain that are found in non-tropical areas.

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Figure 1.1. Recorder inside the empty ice cream can getting the acoustic power of the rain event.

Whenever one hears the word “sensor”, the first technical thing that comes up in people’s mind is that one would think of it as a complicated device that only specialized professionals know how to operate. But on the contrary, students who are taking up their masteral degree and working for the Ateneo Innovation Center took a huge step in the study of rain by being the first ever to measure the behavior of the rain through the sound that rain generates. By using simple audio recorders, measuring the acoustic power of the rain in different locations is now possible, this means that one is able to measure the intensity of rain based from how loud/soft the sound is. Just by listening to the music produced by rain, it would be very possible to predict rain related disasters through the correlation of the tropical rain intensity.

Who would have ever thought that simple recorders can be a possible cheap disaster warning device to people who are prone to rain-related tragedies. Moreover, it is believed that this is a first step that can help make a difference a typhoon prone country such as the Philippines. One of the project leader, Gemalyn Abrajano said: “Considering the fact that Philippines is the texting capital of the world, We hope that in the near future, this rain sensor can be implemented in cell phones so it will be able to warn the citizens of possible flash floods or landslides on a real time basis.”

Topic revision: r1 - 09 Sep 2008 - 04:21:52 - BearTiu
 
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