The paper presents functionality and operation results of a system for creating dynamic maps of acoustic noise employing the PL-Grid infrastructure extended with a distributed sensor network. The work presented provides a demonstration of the services being prepared within the PLGrid Plus project for measuring, modeling and rendering data related to noise level distribution in city agglomerations. Specific computational environments, the so-called domain grids, are developed in the mentioned project. For particular domain grids, specialized IT solutions are prepared, i.e. software implementation and hardware (infrastructure adaptation), dedicated for particular researcher groups demands, including acoustics (the domain grid “Acoustics”). The infrastructure and the software developed can be utilized mainly for research and education purposes, however it can also help in urban planning. The engineered software is intended for creating maps of noise threat for road, railways and industrial sources. Integration of the software services with the distributed sensor network enables automatic updating noise maps for a specific time period. The unique feature of the developed software is a possibility of evaluating auditory effects which are caused by the exposure to excessive noise. The estimation of auditory effects is based on calculated noise levels in a given exposure period. The outcomes of this research study are presented in a form of the cumulative noise dose and the characteristics of the temporary threshold shift.
The impulse noise is agent harmful to health not only in the case of shots from firearms and the explosions of explosive materials. This kind of noise is also present in many workplaces in the industry. The paper presents the results of noise parameters measurements in workplaces where four different die forging hammers were used. The measured values of the C-weighted peak sound pressure level, the A-weighted maximum sound pressure level and A-weighted noise exposure level normalized to an 8 h working day (daily noise exposure level) exceeded the exposure limit values. For example, the highest measured value of the C-weighted peak sound pressure level was 148.9 dB. In this study possibility of the protection of hearing with the use of earplugs or earmuffs was assessed. The measurement method for the measurements of noise parameters under hearing protection devices using an acoustical test fixture instead of testing with the participation of subjects was used. The results of these measurements allows for assessment which of two tested earplugs and two tested earmuffs sufficiently protect hearing of workers in workplaces where forging hammers are used.
The paper presents two theoretical models for traffic noise level distribution on curved horizontal roads. In the case of vehicles moving on a given route, one can consider, in terms of sound field, that the granular traffic is equivalent for short periods with a quasi-continuous noise flow. When computing and modelling the noise level generated by traffic on roads with complex trajectory, it is common to treat the route as a sum of small length road segments, each being assimilated with a linear noise source. This paper started from the assumption that the route can be decomposed into a sequence of linear and arc-shaped road segments, each of which is treated as a linear respectively curved noise source. An arc-shaped road segment is modelled by a tubular vibrating surface, of circular or rectangular section. In the case of rectangular section, the vibrating blade emits complex sounds on its both vertical sides and the generated sound field can be described more clearly, qualitatively and quantitatively, through intensity distribution. The theoretical models presented in the paper have direct application to the traffic noise prediction and noise maps drawing
The paper shows a study on the relationship between noise measures and sound quality (SQ) features that are related to annoyance caused by the traffic noise. First, a methodology to perform analyses related to the traffic noise annoyance is described including references to parameters of the assessment of road noise sources. Next, the measurement setup, location and results are presented along with the derived sound quality features. Then, statistical analyses are performed to compare the measurement results and sound quality features. The included conclusions are focused on showing that the obtained loudness values, regardless of the used system, are similar in a statistical sense. Contrarily, sharpness, roughness and fluctuation strength values differ for the tools employed.
For the use of acoustic assessment of machinery, a global index of acoustic quality has been developed. Acoustic quality index is considered as a product of the following partial indices: sound power index, index of distance between the workstation and the machine, radiation directivity index, impulse and impact noise index and noise spectrum index. Each partial index always assumes positive value. If the value of global index does not exceed 1, the noise of the assessed machine will not exceed the admissible value of A-weighted sound pressure level at the workstation. Experimental tests were carried out in order to determine the values of global indices for a group of engine-generators, with the use of inversion method allowing for the determination of sound power level. The correctness of the determined values of indices was confirmed by the results of A-weighted sound pressure level measurements, at the hypothetically assumed workstations in simulated in situ conditions.
The acoustic climate assessment needed for the selection of solutions (technical, legal and organisational), which will help to minimise the acoustic hazards in the analysed areas, is realised on the basis of acoustic maps. The reference computational algorithms, assigned to them, require very thorough preparation of input data for the considered noise source model representing - in the best possible way - the acoustic climate. These input data are burdened with certain uncertainties in this class of computational tasks. The uncertainties are related to the problem of selecting proper argument values (from the interval of their possible variability) for the modelled processes. This situation has a direct influence on the uncertainty of acoustic maps. The idea of applying the interval arithmetic for the assessment of acoustic models uncertainty is formulated in this paper. The computational formalism assigned to the interval arithmetic was discussed. The rules of interval estimations for the model solutions determining the sound level distribution around the analysed noise source - caused by possible errors in the input data - were presented. The application of this formalism was illustrated in uncertainty assessments of modelling acoustic influences of the railway noise linear source on the environment.
Within the boundaries of many municipal urbanized areas, large grounds are found, from which the noise is emitted into the environment, surrounded by the regions liable to acoustic protection. Such a condition generates many problems including also those ones related to the lack of the fulfillment of requirements concerning environmental protection against excessive noise. Therefore the aim of vital importance is the proper management of municipal grounds, both in view of the investment in policy steering, especially of new investments, and in the case of activities aimed at maintaining or restoring (revitalizing) the acoustic properties on the grounds that have already been used or simply degraded before. Keeping the scale of the problem in mind, such activities must be carried on not temporarily, but must have a systemic character. The structure of every system is characterized by the appropriate relationships among their elements and the properties of those relationships. In case of the noise management system, the elements of such a system are the activities connected with the management itself that are the actions which rely on specifying the aims and causing their realization within the scope and on the grounds subject to the managing entity. The superior aim of such activities should be to supply the tools for improvement of management and in the process of taking decisions that relate to investments including the of optimization conditions and maintenance of socio-economic importance of such areas.
The aim of the study was to determine the configuration of pathologic audiograms in patients with excessive noise exposure, and to calculate the frequency of notches in the audiogram in patients with and without excessive noise exposure by avoiding the effect of age-related hearing loss. We have analyzed 514 audiograms of 257 patients aged between 20 to 50 years: 240 patients (mean age of 38.7 years) with excessive noise exposure and 17 patients (mean age of 41.2 years) with notches in the audiogram, but without a history of excessive noise exposure. For statistical data analysis we have used the Chi-square test and Fisher exact test with the level of significance p < 0.05. Pathologic audiograms were classified into five different types: Slope at 4000 Hz (0.8%), Slope at 2000 Hz (15.1%), Notch at 4000 Hz (67.4%), Notch at 2000 Hz (0.8%), Flat (8.9%), and 7% were out of this classification. A total of 190 (79.2%) patients with excessive noise exposure had a notch in the audiogram. Left ear notches were the most common. Among the patients with notched audiograms, 91.8% had a history of excessive noise exposure, either occupational or nonoccupational, and 8.2% did not report any excessive noise exposure.
The use of ultrasonic energy has created versatile possibilities of their applications in many areas of life, especially in hydro location and underwater telecommunications, industry and medicine. The consequence of a widespread use of high intensity ultrasonics in technology is the increased number of people who are exposed to such ultrasonic noise. Therefore it is important to determine the types of machines and other devices that are responsible for the emission of ultrasonic noise (10-40 kHz of central frequencies of one-third octave bands) as harmful and annoying hazard in the work environment. This paper presents ultrasonic noise sources frequently used in industry and preventive measures reducing the exposure to ultrasonic noise. Two types of ultrasonic noise sources have been distinguished: machines and other devices used to carry out or improve production processes, the so-called technological sources and sources in which ultrasonic noise exists as a non-intentional result of operation of many machines and systems, the so-called non-technological sources of ultrasonic noise. The emission of SPL has been determined for each groups of devices based on own measurement results.
Application of active noise reduction (ANR) systems in hearing protectors requires the use of control algorithms to ensure stability of the ANR system and at the same time highly effective active noise reduction. A control algorithm based on NOTCH filters is an example of solutions that meet these criteria. Their disadvantage is operation over a narrow frequency band and a need for prior determination of frequencies to be reduced. This paper presents a solution of the ANR system for hearing protectors which is controlled with the use of modified NOTCH filters with parameters determined by a genetic algorithm. Application of a genetic algorithm allows to change the NOTCH filter reference signal frequency, and thus, adapt the filter to the reduced signal frequency.
The paper consists of study results of exposure to high frequency noise at metalworking workplaces. The study was carried out using objective methods (measurements of parameters characterizing the noise) and subjective studies (questionnaire survey). Metalworking workplaces were located in a steel structure (e.g. deck gratings) of the manufacturing plant. The results are equivalent sound pressure levels in the 1/3 octave frequency bands with center frequencies from 10 kHz to 40 kHz in reference to an 8-hour workday equal to approximately 81-105 dB at most of the tested workplaces and exceed permissible values. The questionnaire survey of annoyance high frequency noise (i.e. in the audible frequency and low ultrasound range) was conducted among 52 operators of machines. Most of the workers describe the noise as: buzzing, insistent, whistling and high-pitched squeaky. Respondents specify the noise levels occurring at workplaces as: loud, impeding communication, highly strenuous and tiring.
In 2011, over 520 thousand persons worked in hazardous conditions (according to the GUS). Among hazardous factors related to working environment noise was found to be the most common one, threatening 199,6 thousand people (52.9% threats-per-persons related to working environment). The prevalence of workplace noise and increasing awareness of effects of its impact on the human body causes increase of the demand for knowledge of the methods of noise reduction. Due to the lack of knowledge concerning the proper use of hearing protectors, effective noise exposure in the real world may be about a dozen dB higher than the declared assumed protection value. For this reason, in Central Institute for Labour Protection - NRI “The interactive system for learning the correct use of hearing protectors” has been developed. The system includes a multimedia guide on hearing protectors supplemented by video tutorials, training materials with training hearing protectors, and software for evaluation of the activities of the trainee.
There are many industrial environments which are exposed to a high-level noise. It is necessary to protect people from the noise. Most of the time, the consumer requires a miniature version of a noise canceller to satisfy the internal working place requirements. Very important thing is to select the most appropriate personal hearing protection device, for example an earplug. It should guarantee high passive noise attenuation and allow for secondary sound generation in case of active control. In many cases the noise is nonstationary. For instance, some of the noisy devices are switched on and off, speed of some rotors or fans changes, etc. To avoid any severe transient acoustic effects due to potential convergence problems of adaptive systems, a fixed-parameter approach to control is appreciated. If the noise were stationary, it would be possible to design an optimal control filter minimising variance of the signal being the effect of the acoustic noise and the secondary sound interference. Because of noise nonstationarity for most applications, the idea of generalised disturbance defined by a frequency window of different types has been developed by the authors and announced in previous publications. The aim of this paper is to apply such an approach to different earplugs and verify its noise reduction properties. Simulation experiments are conducted based on real world measurements performed using the G. R. A. S. artificial head equipped with an artificial mechanical ear, and the noise recorded in a power plant.
The implemented online urban noise pollution monitoring system is presented with regard to its conceptual assumptions and technical realization. A concept of the noise source parameters dynamic assessment is introduced. The idea of noise modeling, based on noise emission characteristics and emission simulations, was developed and practically utilized in the system. Furthermore, the working system architecture and the data acquisition scheme are described. The method for increasing the speed of noise map calculation employing a supercomputer is explained. The practical implementation of noise maps generation and visualization system is presented, together with introduced improvements in the domain of continuous noise monitoring and acoustic maps creation. Some results of tests performed using the system prototype are shown. The main focus is put on assessing the efficiency of the acoustic maps created with the discussed system, in comparison to results obtained with traditional methods.
The paper presents the current state of knowledge concerning the sources of noise generated by wind turbines, force measurement methodology, and assessment of noise onerousness in this type of installation, on the basis of a study concerning a wind farm with five REpower MM92 wind turbines and the electric power of 2 MW and the sound power level of 104.2 dB(A) each. Particular attention was focused on the often discussed problem of presence of infrasound generated by turbines and on the requirements of the applicable reference methodologies for the measurement of wind speed to 5 m/s, while the turbine reaches its full power at speeds above 10 m/s.
In the paper, a noise map service designated for the user interested in environmental noise is presented. Noise prediction algorithm and source model, developed for creating acoustic maps, are working in the cloud computing environment. In the study, issues related to the noise modelling of sound propagation in urban spaces are discussed with a particular focus on traffic noise. Examples of results obtained through a web application created for that purpose are shown. In addition, these are compared to results obtained from the commercial software simulations based on two road noise prediction models. Moreover, the computing performance of the developed application is investigated and analyzed. In the paper, a flowchart simulating the operation of the noise web-based service is presented showing that the created application is easy to use even for people with little experience in computer technology.
There are many industrial environments which are exposed to a high-level noise, sometimes much higher than the level of speech. Verbal communication is then practically unfeasible. In order to increase the speech intelligibility, appropriate speech enhancement algorithms can be used. It is impossible to filter off the noise completely from the acquired signal by using a conventional filter, because of two reasons. First, the speech and the noise frequency contents are overlapping. Second, the noise properties are subject to change. The adaptive realisation of the Wiener-based approach can be, however, applied. Two structures are possible. One is the line enhancer, where the predictive realisation of the Wiener approach is used. The benefit of using this structure it that it does not require additional apparatus. The second structure takes advantage of the high level of noise. Under such condition, placing another microphone, even close to the primary one, can provide a reference signal well correlated with the noise disturbing the speech and lacking the information about the speech. Then, the classical Wiener filter can be used, to produce an estimate of the noise based on the reference signal. That noise estimate can be then subtracted from the disturbed speech. Both algorithms are verified, based on the data obtained from the real industrial environment. For laboratory experiments the G. R. A. S. artificial head and two microphones, one at back side of an earplug and another at the mouth are used.
Natural sounds are essential elements for ecosystems, and therefore necessary for many ecological functions, forming what is called “natural soundscapes”. The Natural Reserve Laguna del Portil (NRLP), located in the southwest of the Iberian Peninsula, is an ecosystem which was declared by Spanish authorities as Protected Natural Reserve. In the south area of the NRLP, there is a regional road with high traffic intensity, which affects the soundscapes of this natural reserve. In this study, the road potential noise impact on the natural sounds of the NLRP is analysed. This analysis was done both in winter and summer, and also using two independent methods: 1) spatial sampling measures in 43 different points of the NRL; and 2) noise mapping using noise levels prediction software. From the comparison of the results of both methods and seasons the following conclusions were reached: 1) an approach to the natural soundscape of NRLP both in winter and summer, 2) the acoustic impact of the road on the NRLP, and 3) the variation of the traffic noise depending on the distance to the road, and its seasonal variation. This study could be to improve the management of the NRLP and to help to preserve the natural soundscape of the reserve.
A new method of noise generation based on software implementation of a 7-bit LFSR based on a common polynomial PRBS7 using microcontrollers equipped with internal ADCs and DACs and a microcontroller noise generator structure are proposed in the paper. Two software applications implementing the method: written in ANSI C and based on the LUT technique and written in AVR Assembler are also proposed. In the method the ADC results are used to reseed the LFSR after its each full work cycle, what improves randomness of generated data, which results in a greater similarity of the generated random signal to white noise, what was confirmed by the results of experimental research. The noise generator uses only the internal devices of the microcontroller, hence the proposed solution does not introduce hardware redundancy to the system.
The paper deals with the preparation and measurement of an experimental polymer graphite cathode that seems to be a promising and cheap source of electrons utilizing cold field-emission in high- and ultra-high vacuum. Polymer graphite seems to be a proper material as it contains a large amount of hybridized carbon with a low degree of surface oxidation and silicon monoxide (SiO). Within the frame of this work, a special experimental method of tip preparation has been designed and tuned. This method is based on ion milling inside a dual-beam electron microscope enabling to obtain ultra-sharp tips of a diameter smaller than 100 nm with a predefined opening angle. The charge transport within experimental samples is evaluated based on results provided by the noise spectroscopy of the total emission current in the time and frequency domains.
A plenum window with incorporation of Helmholtz resonators in between two glass panes was tested in a reverberation room. The effects of jagged flap on reducing strength of diffracted sound was also investigated in the present studies where white, traffic and construction noises were examined during each set of experiment. When the noise source was located at the central line of the plenum window, the plenum window with Helmholtz resonators was able to mitigate 8.5 dBA, 8.9 dBA and 8.2 dBA of white, traffic and construction noises, respectively, compared with the case of without window. These amounts of noises that attenuated by the plenum window were slightly higher than the case where noise source was diverged 30º away from the plenum window. The effects of jagged flaps on the acoustical performance of the plenum window were negligible. The Helmholtz resonators had the best performance in the frequency region between 900 Hz to 1300 Hz where in this frequency range, the plenum window with Helmholtz resonators was able to attenuate additional 1.7 dBA, 1.9 dBA and 1.6 dBA of white, traffic and construction noises, respectively, compared with the case of without resonators.
A real narrowband noise signal representation in the form of an analytical signal in the Hilbert space is presented in the paper. This analytical signal is illustrated in a variable complex plane as a mark with defined amplitude, phase, pulsation and instantaneous frequency. A block diagram of a broadband product detector in a quadrature system is presented. Measurement results of an autocorrelation function of a noise signal are shown and the application of such solution in a noise radar for precise determination of distance changes as well as velocities of these changes are also presented. Conclusions and future plans for applications of the presented detection technique in broadband noise radars bring the paper to an end.
An analytical expression for the standard deviation of Total Harmonic Distortion (THD) estimation is derived. It applies to the case where the estimator uses sine fitting. It is shown that, in common circumstances, it is inversely proportional to the actual value of THD, the signal-to-noise ratio and the square root of the number of samples. The proposed expression is validated both with numerical simulations and an experimental setup using a Monte Carlo procedure.
A developed method and measurement setup for measurement of noise generated in a supercapacitor is presented. The requirements for noise data recording are considered and correlated with working modes of supercapacitors. An example of results of low-frequency noise measurements in commercially available supercapacitors are presented. The ability of flicker noise measurements suggests that they can be used to assess quality of tested supercapacitors.
Raman spectrometers are devices which enable fast and non-contact identification of examined chemicals. These devices utilize the Raman phenomenon to identify unknown and often illicit chemicals (e.g. drugs, explosives) without the necessity of their preparation. Now, Raman devices can be portable and therefore can be more widely used to improve security at public places. Unfortunately, Raman spectra measurements is a challenge due to noise and interferences present outside the laboratories. The design of a portable Raman spectrometer developed at the Faculty of Electronics, Telecommunications and Informatics, Gdansk University of Technology is presented. The paper outlines sources of interferences present in Raman spectra measurements and signal processing techniques required to reduce their influence (e.g. background removal, spectra smoothing). Finally, the selected algorithms for automated chemicals classification are presented. The algorithms compare the measured Raman spectra with a reference spectra library to identify the sample. Detection efficiency of these algorithms is discussed and directions of further research are outlined.