IDA® Infrasound Detection System

In the 2022/2023 winter season, more than
1700 avalanches were detected by IDA® at 23 locations worldwide.

IDA® detects avalanches continuously and in any weather from any direction. This information is extremely helpful to get an overview of the overall avalanche situation, especially when there is no visibility.

IDA® allows to monitor the avalanche activity of a larger area within a radius of 3 to 5 km (1.8 – 3.1 miles). Important data about natural as well as artificially triggered avalanches are directly forwarded to the responsible avalanche service.

How IDA® works in Goms (CH)...

The entire infrastructure in Goms is secured by 4x IDA® installations in interaction with a GINA®, 8x Wyssen avalanche towers LS12-5 and a safety concept by Geoformer igp AG, which is fully integrated into the WAC.3® Cockpit and RiskEval. The avalanche detection network in Goms thus recorded in the winter season 2020/21:

Thanks to extensive avalanche detection and a fully integrated safety concept, avalanche restrictions were optimized.


An IDA® array consists of 4 to 5 infrasound sensors which are deployed in a star shape around a central unit. The power supply is autonomous via solar cells or battery or the sensors can be connected to the mains. Detected measurements are forwarded in “real time” to the server for data processing and automatic notification (SMS, e-mail, publications in databases). Infrasound waves are low(<20 Hz) frequency waves (pressure fluctuations), which reach a speed of 340 m/s. The sound waves move within a very narrow frequency band (0.001 Hz – 20 Hz), which is not perceptible to the human ear. The propagation of the infrasonic wave in the air is very good and has little attenuation (e.g. compared to seismic waves). The infrasound technology is widely used for the detection of natural phenomena such as volcanic eruptions or nuclear explosions. All data is visualized in the web-based WAC.3® which also allows to display all recorded avalanches (e.g. an entire season).

Technical data

IDA® Specifications Description
Functional principle Avalanches produce infrasound waves below 20 Hz (not audible for humans), which are detectable over large distances.
Adjusted filters and algorithms can distinguish avalanches from other infrasound waves.
Set up 4 -5 sensors are installed in a star shape with a distance of approx. 100 m. The sensors are connected via cable to a central computer from where the data is transmitted to a server for evaluation.
Range up to 3 - 5 km (1.8 - 3.1 miles) for avalanches > size 2.5
Opening angle 360°
Communication Mobile phone network
Display fully integrated with the Wyssen Avalanche Control Center WAC.3®
Power supply electric grid or fuel cell

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