Infrasound from the 2009 and 2017 DPRK rocket launches

L. G. Evers, J. D. Assink, P. S.M. Smets

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
46 Downloads (Pure)


Supersonic rockets generate low-frequency acoustic waves, that is, infrasound, during the launch and re-entry. Infrasound is routinely observed at infrasound arrays from the International Monitoring System, in place for the verification of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty. Association and source identification are key elements of the verification system. The moving nature of a rocket is a defining criterion in order to distinguish it from an isolated explosion. Here, it is shown how infrasound recordings can be associated, which leads to identification of the rocket. Propagation modelling is included to further constrain the source identification. Four rocket launches by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea in 2009 and 2017 are analysed in which multiple arrays detected the infrasound. Source identification in this region is important for verification purposes. It is concluded that with a passive monitoring technique such as infrasound, characteristics can be remotely obtained on sources of interest, that is, infrasonic intelligence, over 4500+ km.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1785-1791
Number of pages7
JournalGeophysical Journal International
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2018


  • Acoustic-gravity waves
  • Earthquake monitoring and testban treaty verification
  • Time-series analysis
  • Wave propagation


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