The Government of Canada launched a new study today to identify the cause of the so-called ‘Windsor Hum,’ which will be conducted, in part, by renowned Western University astronomer Peter Brown.
Teaming with University of Windsor’s Colin Novak, Brown and the Western Meteor Physics Group will investigate the Windsor Hum, the recurring vibration and noise that has been disturbing people in the southwestern region for almost two years.
“The Windsor Hum is a long-standing source of annoyance for residents of Windsor,” said Brown, who serves as director of Western’s Centre for Planetary Science and Exploration. “Western is pleased to be part of the team which, we hope, will provide concrete answers about the source of the precise source of the Hum as the first step toward a solution.”
Brown and his team will focus on locating the source of the Hum by utilizing two groupings of specialized low-frequency microphones which detect infrasound, the sound that occurs below the normal hearing frequency range. The specialized microphones are usually employed by Western astronomers to track meteors.
“When we detect a signal consistent with the character of the Hum we can use the signal arrival information across these arrays to produce a direction to the source,” Brown said. “By using cross bearings – the two sightlines from each array – we should be able to narrow down the source region of the Hum. Our measurements will also help to establish the characteristic frequency of the Hum.”
“Our government takes this issue seriously and is following up on its commitment to find a solution that works for the people of Windsor. Promise made, promise kept,” said Bob Dechert, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, at the announcement, held at the University of Windsor. “Our government will continue to work with the people of Windsor and others to hopefully pinpoint the source of the Windsor Hum. We want to protect citizens’ quality of life. To get a solution, we first need to find the source. This study is a step in the right direction.”