Noise Monitoring with Direction


In one of your projects, you may involve acoustic consultants who need to monitor environmental noise levels utilising unattended computerised sound level meters.

This may be for various reasons, for instance, to establish background sound levels, to check compliance with some noise limits, or to investigate complaints. It is normally highly unlikely that manned measurements over a few hours will be sufficient and as it is more cost-effective, unmanned surveys are typically proposed. However, if no one is present when the readings are made, how can you reliably establish the noise climate?

For instance, how do you know which neighbour is causing the noise disturbance and how do you know whether the level you are measuring is from the offending noise or from something else?

To assist with source identification, it is common to utilise specialist sound level meters that record small audio samples whenever a pre-set trigger level is exceeded.

However, it is potentially very time consuming to listen back and analyse these recordings and also the results of this exercise do not allow for real-time alarm triggering.

Moreover, such monitoring can be inconclusive in a lot of cases. For instance, how do you know that the noise affecting the nearby hospital is not emanating from your construction site but from the one next to yours? Advances in signal processing have meant that state of the art sound level meters can process more information than previously possible.

Manufacturers have introduced multi-channel microphones for environmental measurements to help automate the location of noise sources.

This 3D functionality enables, for example, aircraft to be picked out from normal community noise or may help you to figure out whether a construction noise limit is exceeded due to activities at your site or the neighbouring one and may also be helpful if say a road or railway is near your construction site, and you want to be in a position to only consider the noise coming out from your construction site without the influence of the noisy road or railway.

If you have a project that might benefit from the application of this sort of directional noise monitoring, then do not hesitate to contact Finch Consulting for an initial discussion.

If you want to know more about noise monitoring with direction, please contact [email protected] or on 01530 412777.

As always, if you have any issues associated with noise or vibration please contact the relevant experts at Finch Consulting.

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