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1 Presenters: Peter Wasko, Mn/DOT Metro District Mel Roseen, Mn/DOT Environmental Services Anne Claflin, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency FHWAMn/DOT MPCA Basics of Acoustics

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2 What is Noise? Noise is any unwanted sound that a person hears

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3 What is sound then? Sound is vibrations transmitted through an elastic solid or a liquid or gas, with frequencies in the approximate range of 20 to 20,000 hertz, capable of being heard by the average human ear. Sound pressure levels are used to measure the intensity of sounds and are described in terms of decibels.

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4 Common noise sources

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5 Source-Path-Receiver Concept Source Path Receiver

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6 Frequency

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7 Frequency Frequency is the number of pressure cycles that pass a point per second Frequency=cycles per second=Hertz (Hz) Human hearing is in the range of 20 to 20,000 Hz

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8 Speed of sound Sounds travels at a rate of 1,126 feet per second in air of 58 degrees F Which corresponds to about 1 mile every 5 seconds The speed of sound is proportional to the square root of the temperature

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9 Example What is the wavelength of a sound with a frequency of 5,000 Hz? (assume speed of sound is 1,126 feet per second) 1,126 feet per second / 5,000 cycles per second =.23 feet or 2.7 inches

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10 Sound Pressure Sound pressure amplitude determines the loudness of the sound. Sound pressure in air can be measured in units of micro Newtons per square meter ( N/M 2 ) or micro-Pascals ( Pa). The human ear can detect a wide range of sound pressure. Usually from a range of 20 Pa to 200,000,000 Pa.

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11 Sound Pressure 200,000,000 Pa =2 X 10 8 Pa 20,000,000 Pa =2 X 10 7 Pa 2,000,000 Pa =2 X 10 6 Pa 200,000 Pa =2 X 10 5 Pa 20,000 Pa =2 X 10 4 Pa 2,000 Pa =2 X 10 3 Pa 200 Pa =2 X 10 2 Pa 20 Pa =2 X 10 1 Pa

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12 Sound Pressure Levels and Decibels The square of sound pressure is proportional to sound power or sound energy. A measure of Sound Pressure Level (SPL) is the decibel; defined as dB = 10 log 10 (P 1 /P 0 ) 2 where: P 1 = pressure value of interest P 0 = a standard reference value of 20 Pa RMS The quantity (P 1 /P 0 ) 2 is called the relative energy.

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13 Sound Pressure Levels and Decibels Relative PressureRelative EnergyDecibel, dB (P 1 /P 0 ) (P 1 /P 0 ) 2 10 Log (P 1 /P 0 ) =1 = =310 1 = = = = =1, = =10, = =100, =1, =1,000, =3, =10,000, =10, =100,000, =31, =1,000,000, =100,00010 =10,000,000,000100

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14 Addition and Subtraction of Sound Pressure Levels (SPL) dB levels may not be added or subtracted directly Relative energy values may be added or subtracted directly

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15 Addition and Subtraction of Sound Pressure Levels (SPL) Example: A source produces a sound pressure level of 70 dB. A second 70 dB source is added next to the first source. What is the combined sound level of the 2 sources? 70 dB + 70 dB does not equal 140 dB. Relative energy values must be added. Relative energy for each source =10 (70/10) =10,000,000 Relative energy for both sources is 20,000,000 SPL for both sources=10 Log (20,000,000)=73 dB

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16 Addition and Subtraction of Sound Pressure Levels (SPL) Doubling sound energy increases sound levels by 3 decibels

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17 Addition and Subtraction of Sound Pressure Levels (SPL) When Two Values Differ By: Add to Higher Value 0 to 1 dB 3 dB 2 to 3 dB 2 dB 4 to 9 dB 1 dB 10 or more dB 0 dB Example: 65 dB+ 70 dB = 71 dB

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18 Its movie time!!

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19 What are A-weighted decibels (dBA)? The sensitivity of the human ear to sound depends on the frequency or pitch of the sound. People hear some frequencies better than others. If a person hears two sounds of the same sound pressure but different frequencies, one sound may appear louder than the other. This occurs because people hear high frequency noise much better than low frequency noise. A-weighting serves two important purposes: 1. gives a single number measure of noise level by integrating sound levels at all frequencies 2. gives a scale for noise level as experienced or perceived by the human ear

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20 A, B, & C Weighting Network Filters

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21 Changes in noise levels in an outdoor environment 3 dBA (increase or decrease) is barely perceptible 5 dBA (increase or decrease) is clearly noticeable 10 dBA (increase or decrease) is perceived as twice as loud (or half as loud)

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22 Refraction and Wind Gradients

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23 Refraction and Temperature Gradients

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24 Noise Path without a Barrier Direct Source Receiver

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25 Noise Path with a Barrier Source Receiver Barrier Diffracted Transmitted Reflected Direct

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26 Geometric Relationship Between Traffic and Receiver Less loud by 3 dBA dBA change = 10 log(D1/D2) Hard reflective ground surface D 2D 70 dBA 67 dBA 23

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27 Geometric Relationship Between Traffic and Receiver Attenuation increases by an additional 1.5 dBA for a total of 4.5 dB dBA change = 15 log(D1/D2) Soft absorptive ground surface 70 dBA D 2D 65.5 dBA 24

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28 Importance of Breaking Line of Sight Source Receiver

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29 Importance of Breaking Line of Sight

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30 Effect of Barrier on Attenuation Over Distance dBA/DD -3 dBA/DD 100 L (h)= 72 dBA EQ L (h)= 63.5 dBA EQ Field Insertion Loss = Before – After = 8.5 dBA Wall Attenuation = 10 dBA Line Source Wall Attenuation 10 dBA 27

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31 Parallel Barrier Reflections

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32 Questions?

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