Infrasound at Long Range from Saturn V, 1967

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Science  06 Dec 1968:
Vol. 162, Issue 3858, pp. 1116-1120
DOI: 10.1126/science.162.3858.1116


Two distinct groups of infrasonic waves from Saturn V, 1967, were recorded at Palisades, New York, 1485 kilometers from the launch site. The first group, of 10-minute duration, began about 70 minutes after launch time; the second, having more than twice the amplitude and a duration of 9 minutes, commenced 81 minutes after launch time. From information on the Saturn V trajectory and analysis of recorded data, it is established that the first group represents sound emitted either by the first stage reentry or by the second stage when its elevation was above 120 kilometers. The second, more intense wave group represents the sound from the powered first stage. A reversal of signal occurs because the rocket outran its own sound. Fourier analyses indicate that the energy extends to relatively long periods—10 seconds for the first stage and 7 seconds for the second. Trapping of sound in the upper atmospheric sound channel can be the cause of the separation of the signal into two distinct groups.

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