Raspberry Pi-powered boom sensor: Detect earthquakes, H-bombs, SpaceX launches

A Raspberry Pi-powered sensor can help you detect inaudible sounds from your surrounding area.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer

Raspberry Shake, the maker of an eponymous Raspberry Pi-based seismograph, has launched a new sensor that can pick up inaudible sound waves from earthquakes, landslides, or even the next SpaceX launch.

The Raspberry Boom is the sonic companion to the personal seismograph, both of which are sold to home scientists who want to be part of an Earth-monitoring network.

The new Raspberry Pi-powered infrasonic boom sensor can detect sounds from a local region that are inaudible to human ears.

Users can also connect the device to the Raspberry Shake network and contribute to its EQ Viewer, which displays recent earthquake activity, and Station View, which offers a map of significant ground motion.

Raspberry Shake used a prototype Raspberry Boom in February to measure sonic booms created by SpaceX's Falcon Heavy rocket launch and landing. It's also got software to generate a video that displays the waveform and spectrum of the sounds.

See also: Special report: Harnessing IoT in the enterprise (free PDF)

The developers believe that with a network of the sensors it will be possible to track and locate events including storms, planes flying overhead, gunfire, nuclear test explosions, volcanoes, and meteors.

And to support the Kickstarter campaign that launched yesterday, the developers are planning to send one of the Raspberry Booms 80,000 feet (24,000m) into the atmosphere on a 42-foot diameter solar balloon.

The company only had a $7,000 funding target, which it reached in six minutes, and has already exceeded that goal by over $40,000.

Pledges start at $179 for the Raspberry Boom circuit board but it's also available with an enclosure and storage. The circuit board is designed to work with the Raspberry Pi Zero as well as the Raspberry Pi Model B, B+, Raspberry Pi 2 Model B, and Raspberry Pi 3 Model B.

Video: Presenting the Raspberry Boom prototypes. Source: Raspberry Shake/YouTube

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