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The Pluviophone : measuring rainfall by its sound

Abstract : Rainfall, one of the most important resources for all life and for the environment, is also the most difficult meteorological parameter to measure, mainly due to its nonstationnarity in space and time. Several powerful instruments exist today to measure rainfall, but they often suffer from some strong disadvantages, ranging from high costs and variable space and time coverage to low accuracy. In this study, we explain how a measure the sound of the falling rain could provide a reliable metric of the rainfall. We demonstrate its reliability in a specific case study, for a long rainy tropical event of the Indian monsoon and in noisy conditions. The final determination coefficient computed in cross validation reaches R-2 = 0.9, without any treatment of the signals other than a simple smoothing window. If confirmed through more intensive research, our findings could help in the design of a highly useful acoustic rain gauge, of great value to developing countries that experience intense but poorly studied rainy seasons.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, May 27, 2020 - 7:08:30 AM
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Cedric Gaucherel, Victor Grimaldi. The Pluviophone : measuring rainfall by its sound. Journal of Vibration and Acoustics, American Society of Mechanical Engineers, 2015, 137 (3), ⟨10.1115/1.4029645⟩. ⟨hal-02631057⟩



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