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Novel use of MEMS microphones to map noise pollution and meet EU directives
Date:11/23/2010

inherent assumptions and limitations. Consequently, some European authorities have reported difficulty in using these noise maps due to a lack of confidence in the output data and complete absence of temporal variation. These issues can be resolved by including a role for measurement in the process, but it is currently too expensive to use the instruments available to achieve the spatial coverage required.

DREAMSys aims to address this by providing a cost-effective solution to the distributed measurement of noise over a widespread area. Components of the system have been thoroughly tested and calibrated by NPL, and results of testing both in the laboratory and outdoors indicate a high degree of consistency with conventional equipment.

Following initial tests the system has been deployed in a small number of UK field trials lasting a few days to in excess of 10 months. These field trials have now been completed successful. The flagship test site was an area of land adjacent to a major airport, earmarked for residential development where 40 units were deployed for a period of 10 months. Trials have also been carried out in a busy city centre and elsewhere. The data collected was used for mapping the sound fields using bespoke software developed at NPL. These trials explored the role of measurement in the strategic noise mapping process and showed how a low-cost measurement array can enhance the traditional predictive approach.

Richard Barham, Principal Research Scientist in NPL's Acoustic Group said:

"DREAMSys greatly expands the coverage offered by the measurement system in conventional equipment. It enables a large number of measurement points to be installed and used to continually monitor an area for months or even years. However, it is not intended that DREAMSys replaces prediction entirely. We hope that both approaches will complement each other, with the measurements being made in areas carefully selected on the basis that
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Contact: David Lewis
david@proofcommunication.com
44-845-680-1865
National Physical Laboratory
Source:Eurekalert

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