Researchers hope to get handle on hum in northwest neighbourhood
Published Tuesday, July 28, 2015 6:14PM MDT Last Updated Tuesday, July 28, 2015 6:37PM MDT
A hum has been heard in the community of Ranchlands for years and now researchers are working to determine what it is and where it is coming from.
Residents in the area have been plagued by a low-pitched moan for years and some say it sounds like wind rushing through a tunnel.
The Ranchlands hum has been a mystery for close to a decade and hundreds of people have heard and reported it.
“I've heard it everywhere and it's not the neighbour’s hot tub. It's not anything in the house, it just seems like it's coming from outside,” said Colleen Skipper, resident.
“There's some people that can feel it because it's such a low frequency,” said Terry Avramenko, from the Ranchlands Community Association.
Many have recorded the noise but its low frequency has made it hard to pinpoint its origin.
University of Calgary professor Mike Smith along with help from an international exchange student is now developing a Smartphone app to try and solve the mystery.
Smith is hoping to zero in on the sound by having Ranchlands' residents use the app to record the sound and pinpoint their locations when they hear it.
“If we got enough of these cellphone apps across the community and we had the right sort of data gathering mechanism, we could look at the loudness and characteristics of the signal and perhaps use it as an acoustic location direction finder and find out where it's coming from,” said Smith.
Smith says he hopes the first downloadable version of the Ranchlands Hum app will be ready in September so he can start gathering the data in the fall.
The app will only be available for android phones when it is first released.
(With files from Kevin Green)