The computing performance optimization of the Short-Lag Spatial Coherence (SLSC) method applied to ultrasound data processing is presented. The method is based on the theory that signals from adjacent receivers are correlated, drawing on a simplified conclusion of the van Cittert-Zernike theorem. It has been proven that it can be successfully used in ultrasound data reconstruction with despeckling. Former works have shown that the SLSC method in its original form has two main drawbacks: time-consuming processing and low contrast in the area near the transceivers. In this study, we introduce a method that allows to overcome both of these drawbacks.
The presented approach removes the dependency on distance (the “lag” parameter value) between signals used to calculate correlations. The approach has been tested by comparing results obtained with the original SLSC algorithm on data acquired from tissue phantoms.
The modified method proposed here leads to constant complexity, thus execution time is independent of the lag parameter value, instead of the linear complexity. The presented approach increases computation speed over 10 times in comparison to the base SLSC algorithm for a typical lag parameter value. The approach also improves the output image quality in shallow areas and does not decrease quality in deeper areas.
Objectives: In the article we describe the new, high frequency, 20 MHz scanning/Doppler probe designed to measure the flow mediated dilation (FMD) and shear rate (SR) close to the radial artery wall.
Methods: We compare two US scanning systems, standard vascular modality working below 12 MHz and high frequency 20 MHz system designed for FMD and SR measurements. Axial resolutions of both systems were compared by imaging of two closely spaced food plastic foils immersed in water and by measuring systolic/diastolic diameter changes in the radial artery. The sensitivities of Doppler modalities were also determined. The diagnostic potential of a high frequency system in measurements of FMD and SR was studied in vivo, in two groups of subjects, 12 healthy volunteers and 14 patients with stable coronary artery disease (CAD).
Results: Over three times better axial resolution was demonstrated for a high frequency system. Also, the sensitivity of the external single transducer 20 MHz pulse Doppler proved to be over 20 dB better (in terms of a signal-to-noise ratio) than the pulse Doppler incorporated into the linear array. Statistically significant differences in FMD and FMD/SR values for healthy volunteers and CAD patients were confirmed, p-values < 0:05. The areas under Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) curves for FMD and FMD/SR for the prediction CAD had the values of 0.99 and 0.97, respectively.
Conclusions: These results justify the usefulness of the designed high-frequency scanning system to determine the FMD and SR in the radial artery as predictors of coronary arterial disease.
This paper presents the results of acoustic field distribution simulations for the 1024-element ultrasonic ring array intended for the diagnosis of female breast tissue with the use of ultrasound tomography. For the purpose of analysing data, all acoustic fields created by each elementary transducer were combined. The natural position of the focus inside the ultrasonic ring array was changed by altering activation time of individual transducers in sectors consisting of 32, 64, and 128 ultrasonic transducers. Manipulating the position of the focus inside the array will allow to concentrate the ultrasonic beam in a chosen location in the interior space of the ring array. The goal of this research is to receive the best possible quality of images of cross-sections of the female breast. The study also analysed the influence of the acoustic field distribution on the inclination of the beam. The results will enable to choose an optimal focus and an optimal number of activated transducers.
Acoustical Driving Forces (ADF), induced by propagating waves in a homogeneous and inhomogeneous lossy fluid (suspension), are determined and compared depending on the concentration of suspended particles. Using integral equations of the scattering theory, the single particle (inclusion) ADF was calculated as the integral of the flux of the momentum density tensor components over the heterogeneity surface. The possibility of negative ADF was indicated. Originally derived, the total ADF acting on inclusions only, stochastically distributed in ambient fluid, was determined as a function of its concentration. The formula for the relative increase in ADF, resulting from increased concentration was derived. Numerical ADF calculations are presented. In experiments the streaming velocities in a blood-mimicking starch suspension (2 μm radius) in water and Bracco BR14 contrast agent (SF6 gas capsules, 1 μm radius) were measured as the function of different inclusions concentration. The source of the streaming and ADF was a plane 2 mm diameter 20 MHz ultrasonic transducer. Velocity was estimated from the averaged Doppler spectrum obtained from originally developed pulsed Doppler flowmeter. Numerical calculations of the theoretically derived formula showed very good agreement with the experimental results.
The purpose of this work is to examine the possibility of using multi-angle conventional ultrasound B-mode scanning in efficient 3-D imaging. In the paper, the volume of an object is reconstructed from vertical projections registered at fixed angular positions of the multi-element linear ultrasonic probe rotated in relation to the object submerged in water. The possible configurations are: vertical lateral, vertical top or vertical bottom. In the vertical lateral configuration, the ultrasonic probe acquires 2-D images of object’s vertical cross-sections, turning around its lateral surface. In the vertical top or bottom configuration, the ultrasonic probe acquires 2-D images of the object’s vertical cross-sections, turning on the horizontal plane over the top or under the bottom surface of the object. The method of recording 3-D volume of an object’s structure and reconstruction algorithm have been designed. Studies show the method in the vertical top or bottom configuration could be successfully applied to the effective 3-D visualisation of the structure of the female breast in vivo as the new complement ultrasonic imaging modality in the prototype of the developed ultrasound tomography scanner.
Speech enhancement in strong noise condition is a challenging problem. Low-rank and sparse matrix decomposition (LSMD) theory has been applied to speech enhancement recently and good performance was obtained. Existing LSMD algorithms consider each frame as an individual observation. However, real-world speeches usually have a temporal structure, and their acoustic characteristics vary slowly as a function of time. In this paper, we propose a temporal continuity constrained low-rank sparse matrix decomposition (TCCLSMD) based speech enhancement method. In this method, speech separation is formulated as a TCCLSMD problem and temporal continuity constraints are imposed in the LSMD process. We develop an alternative optimisation algorithm for noisy spectrogram decomposition. By means of TCCLSMD, the recovery speech spectrogram is more consistent with the structure of the clean speech spectrogram, and it can lead to more stable and reasonable results than the existing LSMD algorithm. Experiments with various types of noises show the proposed algorithm can achieve a better performance than traditional speech enhancement algorithms, in terms of yielding less residual noise and lower speech distortion.
The goal of this research is to find a set of acoustic parameters that are related to differences between Polish and Lithuanian language consonants. In order to identify these differences, an acoustic analysis is performed, and the phoneme sounds are described as the vectors of acoustic parameters. Parameters known from the speech domain as well as those from the music information retrieval area are employed. These parameters are time- and frequency-domain descriptors. English language as an auxiliary language is used in the experiments. In the first part of the experiments, an analysis of Lithuanian and Polish language samples is carried out, features are extracted, and the most discriminating ones are determined. In the second part of the experiments, automatic classification of Lithuanian/English, Polish/English, and Lithuanian/Polish phonemes is performed.
The performance of binaural processing may be disturbed in the presence of hearing loss, especially of sensorineural type. To assess the impact of hearing loss on speech perception in noise regarding binaural processing, series of speech recognition measurements in controlled laboratory conditions were carried out. The spatial conditions were simulated using dummy head recordings played back on headphones. The Intelligibility Level Difference (ILD) was determined by measuring the change in the speech reception thresholds (SRT) between two configurations of a masking signal source (N) and a speech source (S), namely the S0N90 condition (where numbers stand for angles in horizontal plane) and the co-located condition (S0N0). To disentangle the head shadow effect (better ear effect) from binaural processing in the brain, the difference between binaural and monaural S0N90 condition (so-called Binaural Intelligibility Level Difference, BILD) value was calculated.
Measurements were performed with a control group of normal-hearing listeners and a group of sensorineural hearing-impaired subjects. In all conditions performance of the hearing-impaired listeners was significantly lower than normal-hearing ones, resulting in higher SRT values (3 dB difference in the S0N0 configuration, 7.6 dB in S0N90 and 5 dB in monaural S0N90). The SRT improvement due to the spatial separation of target and masking signal (ILD) was also higher in the control group (8.1 dB) than in hearing-impaired listeners (3.5 dB). Moreover, a significant deterioration of the binaural processing described by BILD was found in people with sensorineural deficits. This parameter for normal-hearing listeners reached a value of 3 to 6 dB (4.6 dB on average) and decreased more than two times in the hearing-impaired group to 1.9 dB on average (with a deviation of 1.4 dB). These findings could not be explained by individual average hearing threshold (standard in audiological diagnostics) only. The outcomes indicate that there is a contribution of suprathershold deficits and it may be useful to consider binaural SRT measurements in noise in addition to the pure tone audiometry resulting in better diagnostics and hearing aid fitting.
The study presents evaluating the effectiveness of the hearing aid fitting process in the short-term use (7 days). The evaluation method consists of a survey based on the APHAB (Abbreviated Profile of Hearing Aid Benefit) questionnaire. Additional criteria such as a degree of hearing loss, number of hours and days of hearing aid use as well as the user’s experience were also taken into consideration. The outcomes of the benefit obtained from the hearing aid use in various listening environments for 109 hearing aid users are presented, including a degree of their hearing loss. The research study results show that it is possible to obtain relevant and reliable information helpful in assessing the effectiveness of the shortterm (7 days) hearing aid use. The overall percentage of subjects gaining a benefit when communicating in noise is the highest of all the analyzed and the lowest in the environment with reverberation. The statistical analysis performed confirms that in the listening environments in which conversation is held, a subjective indicator determined by averaging benefits for listening situations individually is statistically significant with respect to the degree of hearing loss. Statistically significant differences depending on the degree of hearing loss are also found separately for noisy as well as reverberant environments. However, it should be remembered that this study is limited to three types of hearing loss, i.e. mild, moderate and severe. The acceptance of unpleasant sounds gets the lowest rating. It has also been observed that in the initial period of hearing aid use, the perception of unpleasant sounds has a big influence on the evaluation of hearing improvement.
Thin plates, in the form of individual panels or whole device casings, often separate the noise source from its recipients. It would be very desirable if the panels could effectively block the sound transmission preventing noise from further propagation. This is especially challenging to achieve at low frequencies. A promising approach, intensively developed in the recent years, is to employ active control methods by adding sensors and actuators, and running a control algorithm. However, if the noise is narrow-band, an alternative passive solution originally developed by the authors can be applied. It is based on appropriately located passive elements which can be used to alter the frequency response of the vibrating structure thus improving its sound insulation properties. Such an approach is referred to as the frequency response shaping method. The purpose of this paper is to further develop this method and apply it to a device casing panel. The efficiency of the method is evaluated by simulation and real experiments. Appropriate cost functions and mathematical models are formulated and used to optimise the arrangement of passive elements mounted to the plate, enhancing its sound insulation properties at the given frequency range. The results are reported, and advantages and limits of the method are pointed out and discussed.
The main problem in the measurement of airborne sound insulation is the measurement of the sound power radiated by the barrier, in practice performed by measuring the sound pressure level and the acoustic absorption in the receiving room. Large variations of the sound pressure level in a reverberation room indicate the presence of dominating strong standing waves, so that it becomes necessary to install diffusing elements. In ISO 10140, the limits have been defined in which the reverberation time at frequencies at and above 100 Hz should be included. Sometimes, however, in the case of rooms with a large volume, obtaining the required parameters is difficult and sometimes even impossible. It should then be checked whether the measured sound insulation depends on the reverberation time.
The paper presents the results of sound insulation measurements at various reverberation time lengths in subsequent stages of diffusing elements installation in the receiving room. An analysis of diffusing materials amount and arrangement influence on the uniformity of the sound pressure level distribution and reverberation time in the room as well as the value of the measured sound insulation was carried out. Uncertainty of sound insulation measurement with partial uncertainties was adopted as a criterion supporting the assessment of the obtained results.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the hearing status of call centre operators in relation to their noise exposure. Conventional pure-tone audiometry and extended high-frequency audiometry were performed in 49 workers, aged 22–47 years (mean ± SD: 32.0 ± 6.0 years), working in call centre from 1.0 to 16.5 years (mean ± SD: 4.7 ± 2.9 years).
Questionnaire inquiry aimed at collecting personal data, the information on ommunication headset usage habits, self-assessment of hearing ability and identification of risk factors for noise-induced hearing loss were also carried out. Sound pressure levels generated by the communication headset were determined using the artificial ear technique specified in CSA Z107.56-13 (2013) standard. The background noise prevailing in offices was also measured according to PN-N-01307 (1994) and PN-EN ISO 9612 (2011).
Personal daily noise exposure levels in call centre operators varied from 66 to 86 dB (10–90th percentile). About half of the study subjects had normal hearing in the standard frequencies (from 250 to 8000 Hz) in both ears, while only 27.1% in the extended high-frequencies (9–16 kHz). Moreover, both high-frequency and speech-frequency hearing losses were observed in less than 10% of audiograms, while the extended high-frequency threshold shift was noted in 37.1% of analysed ears. The hearing threshold
levels of call centre operators in the frequency of 0.25–11.2 kHz were higher (worse) than the expected median values for equivalent (due to age and gender) highly screened population specified in ISO 7029 (2017). Furthermore, they were also higher than predicted for 500–4000 Hz according to ISO 1999 (2013) based on the results of noise exposure evaluation.
During work, earth-moving machines generate significant levels of noise and vibration that can be harmful for the operators; therefore the analysis of the noise and vibration conditions at the driving position is of great importance for the risk assessment. Compact loaders have become a pressing challenge as they are extremely hazardous referring to noise and vibration emissions, especially in their crawler version where further relevant noise and vibration are generated by the hard contact between track belt and ground.
This paper reports the results of investigations carried out on three crawler compact loaders in different operating conditions. The main purpose was to investigate the noise and vibration values transmitted to the operators in some working conditions and use these data to obtain reliable estimates of the exposure to noise, to whole-body and to hand-arm transmitted vibrations, as well as to evaluate the related risk levels. Vibration signals transmitted to the operator were acquired on the seat and the machine control lever in accordance with the procedures specified in ISO 2631-1 and ISO 5349-1. At the same time, noise signals were acquired at the operator’s ear following the procedure reported in ISO 11201. Vibration signals were also acquired on the cabin floor with the main purpose to evaluate the effectiveness of the machine seats in reducing the vibration transmission. Finally, the noise and vibration exposure risks were evaluated on the basis of the health and safety requirements established in 2003/10/EC and 2002/44/EC Directives.
Passive noise reduction methods require thick and heavy barriers to be effective for low frequencies and those clasical ones are thus not suitable for reduction of low frequency noise generated by devices. Active noise-cancelling casings, where casing walls vibrations are actively controlled, are an interesting alternative that can provide much higher low-frequency noise reduction. Such systems, compared to classical ANC systems, can provide not only local, but also global noise reduction, which is highly expected for most applications. For effective control of casing vibrations a large number of actuators is required. Additionally, a high number of error sensors, usually microphones that measure noise emission from the device, is also required. All actuators have an effect on all error sensors, and the control system must take into account all paths, from each actuator to each error sensor. The Multiple Error FXLMS has very high computational requirements. To reduce it a Switched-Error FXLMS, where only one error signal is used at the given time, have been proposed. This, however, significantly reduces convergence rate. In this paper an algorithm that uses multiple errors at once, but not all, is proposed. The performance of various algorithm variants is compared using simulations with the models obtained from real active-noise cancelling casing.
The paper presents experimental research carried out to determine the possible actions to reduce the noise generated by trams in a highly urbanised area. A few design strategies affecting tram ride quality have been presented – especially in the aspect of the acoustic phenomena. Main sources of the noise in trams were characterised. The paper includes selected results of comprehensive studies of tram noise in the pass-by test based on the authors’ research methodology. The tests were carried out on various types of trams to recognise the acoustic phenomena characteristic for the rolling stock in a selected tram system. The results of the measurements were analysed both in the field of amplitudes based on noise maps and in respect to frequencies based on noise spectra. The results indicated the rolling noise as important issue demanding taking some actions in order to reduce its level. In this area, elements for the application of individual attenuation solutions, i.e. at the source and during propagation, were presented. The results of the measurements were used as input data to the assumptions of the noise attenuation passive system, which was the final outcome of the study. Dedicated external dampers were used in the case of wheel and rail pairs, where the dominant power of the noise is emitted. The acoustic properties of the bogie area and the bogie side covers were redeveloped to hamper the noise propagation, which is a novel application. The presented results indicate measurable benefits from the applied solutions on the tram noise reduction.
In the present work, an approach to obtain a design method for the size of the plenum chamber cross-section of a marine gas turbine air supply system has been investigated. Flow in ducts makes noise which is very high in the turbine inlet part because of the large amount of flow. Therefore, this phenomenon should be considered in the design process. A suitable approach to design the duct is proposed (considering acoustic and aerodynamic performance at the same time). In this method, an air supply channel system of the marine gas turbine has been categorized into three sections according to the requirements of the aerodynamic and acoustic; inlet, plenum chamber, and outlet channels with circular cross-sections. The geometrical dimensions of inlet and outlet channels have been determined using the plane waves theory about a channel, in which the effects of flow is ignored. Space limitations of battleships at the dominant frequency have been considered. Then, the optimized size of the mid-channel section, in terms of both aerodynamic and acoustic requirements, using numerical methods and regarding the effects of flow has been calculated. Various 3D turbulent flows inside the plenum chamber have been considered, in which large eddy simulation turbulence model is utilized. Ffowcs, Williams and Hawkings models are used for the sound propagation process based on the Lighthill integral equation. The validity of the simulation has been checked by comparing results (sound pressure level) with experimental data obtained from a chamber. The comparison revealed the acceptable errors for a variety of frequencies. The results disclosed that the performance of channel system aerodynamic decreased when the fraction of plenum chamber cross-section to inlet/outlet channel cross-section increased. With an increase in the cross-section size at first Acoustic performance is improved and then worsen. Six different cases of marine gas turbine air supply system configurations have been presented, in which the limitation of the battleship space is considered. Examining and comparing the acoustic performance of different cases of the air supply channel system, it was found that the amount of sound pressure level, around the air supply channel system, and the high-pressure sound area can move along the air supply channel system. Additionally, deviations from plane waves considering the effects of flow have been inspected in all cases. The reason for this deviation is the effects of the airflow through the channel system and quadrupole sources in the production of sound in the channel system, which causes higher modes.
Q235 steel is widely used in engineering and construction. Therefore, it is important to identify the damage mechanism and the acoustic emission (AE) response of the material to ensure the safety of structures. In this study, an AE monitor system and an in situ tensile test with an optical microscope were used to investigate the AE response and insight into the damage process of Q235 steel. The surface of the specimen was polished and etched before the test in order to improve the quality of micrographs. Two kinds of AE responses, namely a burst and a continuous signal, were recorded by the AE monitor system during the test. Based on the in situ test, it was observed that the damage of Q235 steel was induced by the crystal slip and the inclusion fracture. Since the crystal slip was an ongoing process, continuous AE signals were produced, while burst AE signals were possibly produced by the inclusion fracture which occurred suddenly with released higher energy. In addition, a great number of AE signals with high amplitude were observed during the yielding stage and then the number and amplitude decreased.
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