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A Digital Signal Processor Based Acoustic Sensor for Outdoor Noise Monitoring in Smart Cities
Open AccessArticle

Aggregate Impact of Anomalous Noise Events on the WASN-Based Computation of Road Traffic Noise Levels in Urban and Suburban Environments

GTM—Grup de recerca en Tecnologies Mèdia, La Salle—Universitat Ramon Llull. c/Quatre Camins, 30, 08022 Barcelona, Spain
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Sensors 2020, 20(3), 609; https://doi.org/10.3390/s20030609
Received: 10 December 2019 / Revised: 15 January 2020 / Accepted: 20 January 2020 / Published: 22 January 2020
Environmental noise can be defined as the accumulation of noise pollution caused by sounds generated by outdoor human activities, Road Traffic Noise (RTN) being the main source in urban and suburban areas. To address the negative effects of environmental noise on public health, the European Environmental Noise Directive requires EU member states to tailor noise maps and define the corresponding action plans every five years for major agglomerations and key infrastructures. Noise maps have been hitherto created from expert-based measurements, after cleaning the recorded acoustic data of undesired acoustic events, or Anomalous Noise Events (ANEs). In recent years, Wireless Acoustic Sensor Networks (WASNs) have become an alternative. However, most of the proposals focus on measuring global noise levels without taking into account the presence of ANEs. The LIFE DYNAMAP project has developed a WASN-based dynamic noise mapping system to analyze the acoustic impact of road infrastructures in real time based solely on RTN levels. After studying the bias caused by individual ANEs on the computation of the A-weighted equivalent noise levels through an expert-based dataset obtained before installing the sensor networks, this work evaluates the aggregate impact of the ANEs on the RTN measurements in a real-operation environment. To that effect, 304 h and 20 min of labeled acoustic data collected through the two WASNs deployed in both pilot areas have been analyzed, computing the individual and aggregate impacts of ANEs for each sensor location and impact range (low, medium and high) for a 5 min integration time. The study shows the regular occurrence of ANEs when monitoring RTN levels in both acoustic environments, which are especially common in the urban area. Moreover, the results reveal that the aggregate contribution of low- and medium-impact ANEs can become as critical as the presence of high-impact individual ANEs, thus highlighting the importance of their automatic removal to obtain reliable WASN-based RTN maps in real-operation environments. View Full-Text
Keywords: road traffic noise; noise monitoring; dynamic noise maps; anomalous noise events; individual impact; aggregate impact; WASN; sensor nodes; urban and suburban environments road traffic noise; noise monitoring; dynamic noise maps; anomalous noise events; individual impact; aggregate impact; WASN; sensor nodes; urban and suburban environments
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Alías, F.; Orga, F.; Alsina-Pagès, R.M.; Socoró, J.C. Aggregate Impact of Anomalous Noise Events on the WASN-Based Computation of Road Traffic Noise Levels in Urban and Suburban Environments. Sensors 2020, 20, 609.

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