Sensors 2014, 14(2), 1918-1949; doi:10.3390/s140201918
Article

SoundCompass: A Distributed MEMS Microphone Array-Based Sensor for Sound Source Localization

1 Department of Electronics and Informatics (ETRO), Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Pleinlaan 2, Elsene 1050, Belgium 2 Department of Industrial Sciences and Technology (INDI), Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Pleinlaan 2, Elsene 1050, Belgium
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 28 October 2013; in revised form: 11 December 2013 / Accepted: 20 January 2014 / Published: 23 January 2014
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)
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Abstract: Sound source localization is a well-researched subject with applications ranging from localizing sniper fire in urban battlefields to cataloging wildlife in rural areas. One critical application is the localization of noise pollution sources in urban environments, due to an increasing body of evidence linking noise pollution to adverse effects on human health. Current noise mapping techniques often fail to accurately identify noise pollution sources, because they rely on the interpolation of a limited number of scattered sound sensors. Aiming to produce accurate noise pollution maps, we developed the SoundCompass, a low-cost sound sensor capable of measuring local noise levels and sound field directionality. Our first prototype is composed of a sensor array of 52 Microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) microphones, an inertial measuring unit and a low-power field-programmable gate array (FPGA). This article presents the SoundCompass’s hardware and firmware design together with a data fusion technique that exploits the sensing capabilities of the SoundCompass in a wireless sensor network to localize noise pollution sources. Live tests produced a sound source localization accuracy of a few centimeters in a 25-m2 anechoic chamber, while simulation results accurately located up to five broadband sound sources in a 10,000-m2 open field.
Keywords: SoundCompass; MEMS microphone; microphone array; beamforming; wireless sensor networks; sound source localization; sound map; noise map

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MDPI and ACS Style

Tiete, J.; Domínguez, F.; Silva, B.D.; Segers, L.; Steenhaut, K.; Touhafi, A. SoundCompass: A Distributed MEMS Microphone Array-Based Sensor for Sound Source Localization. Sensors 2014, 14, 1918-1949.

AMA Style

Tiete J, Domínguez F, Silva BD, Segers L, Steenhaut K, Touhafi A. SoundCompass: A Distributed MEMS Microphone Array-Based Sensor for Sound Source Localization. Sensors. 2014; 14(2):1918-1949.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Tiete, Jelmer; Domínguez, Federico; Silva, Bruno D.; Segers, Laurent; Steenhaut, Kris; Touhafi, Abdellah. 2014. "SoundCompass: A Distributed MEMS Microphone Array-Based Sensor for Sound Source Localization." Sensors 14, no. 2: 1918-1949.

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