Noise Control for Healthy and Enhanced Acoustic Environments

A special issue of Acoustics (ISSN 2624-599X).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2023) | Viewed by 16381

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Departamento de Ingeniería de Comunicaciones, Universidad de Málaga, 29071 Málaga, Spain
Interests: machine learning; time series; diabetes; biosensors; social Issues

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Guest Editor
Departamento de Tecnologías de la Información y las Comunicaciones, Universidad Politécnica de Cartagena, 30202 Cartagena, Spain
Interests: acoustics; radiowave propagation; machine learning

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Guest Editor
Departamento de Tecnologías de la Información y las Comunicaciones, Universidad Politécnica de Cartagena, 30202 Cartagena, Spain
Interests: radiowave propagation; acoustics; biosensors; machine learning; diabetes

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Excessive noise is detrimental to people’s health as it affects their ability to function in their daily lives. Living in a noisy environment can particularly cause sleep disturbances, which in turn lead to psychophysiological and cardiovascular issues, reduce performance, and change social behaviors, for instance via an increased annoyance response. In light of this, when setting guidelines for environmental noise limits, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported that 20% of people worldwide experience daytime levels of above 65 dB(A), considered noise pollution; that over 30% experience nighttime levels exceeding 55 dB(A); and that around 40% are exposed to noise from road traffic exceeding 55 dB(A). The WHO community noise guidelines advise nighttime levels below 30 dB(A) in a sleeping area for high-quality sleep, below an annual average of 40 dB(A) outside the sleeping area to avoid nighttime-noise-related health impacts, and below 35 dB(A) in classroom environments to ensure effective teaching and learning. Considering the above, it is imperative that noise is controlled, particularly near facilities that rely on reduced noise levels, e.g., schools and hospitals. Additionally, excessive noise levels also impact acoustic performance in indoor environments such as halls or theaters, and research has thus far focused on enhancing the sound quality in such settings via several approaches.

In view of the above, this Special Issue explores the wide range of topics in the field of noise control, aiming for the provision of more salubrious acoustic surroundings and offering better sound quality when the situation calls for it.

Potential topics include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Mitigation of environmental noise pollution;
  • Acoustic health monitoring;
  • Abatement of road traffic noise;
  • Improvement of auditorium acoustics;
  • Noise control in industrial/residential buildings;
  • Protection of acoustic comfort in classrooms and hospitals;
  • Enhancement of sound quality in indoor/outdoor contexts;
  • Vibration control in the built environment;
  • Design of room acoustics;
  • Sound insulation of buildings.

Prof. Dr. Ignacio Rodríguez-Rodríguez
Prof. Dr. Domingo Pardo-Quiles
Prof. Dr. José-Victor Rodríguez
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Acoustics is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • acoustic diffusers
  • noise barriers
  • acoustic comfort
  • traffic noise mitigation
  • auditorium acoustics
  • sound quality enhancement
  • noise limitation in buildings
  • acoustic health
  • noise pollution
  • sound absorbers
  • vibration damping and isolation
  • industrial noise
  • sound insulation
  • room acoustics

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

12 pages, 1421 KiB  
Article
Effects of Varying Levels of Background Noise on Room Acoustic Parameters, Measured with ESS and MLS Methods
by Nikolaos M. Papadakis, Smaro Antoniadou and Georgios E. Stavroulakis
Acoustics 2023, 5(2), 563-574; https://doi.org/10.3390/acoustics5020034 - 12 Jun 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2055
Abstract
Typically, background noise of different types and levels is present during the measurement of the impulse response in spaces. The two methods that are, in practice, most frequently used in the measurement of the impulse response, are the exponential sine sweep (ESS), and [...] Read more.
Typically, background noise of different types and levels is present during the measurement of the impulse response in spaces. The two methods that are, in practice, most frequently used in the measurement of the impulse response, are the exponential sine sweep (ESS), and the maximum length sequence (MLS). This study’s objective was to estimate the impact of background noise (white noise, tonal noise) on the acoustic parameters (T30, EDT, C80, and D50) for ESS and MLS measurements, by introducing artificial background noise, employing an external sound source. For this purpose, measurements were performed with varying levels of external noise (in steps of 2 dB), and the effect was assessed, using the relative error compared to measurements without artificial background noise. According to the findings for white noise (as background noise), in the case of T30 and EDT, the difference between the two methods, as well as the relative error, for the initial levels of added background noise, was small. However, for higher levels of added background noise, there was a sharp increase in the relative error, which was greater for the ESS method, both for T30 and EDT. Regarding C80 and D50, while initially the differences between the ESS and MLS methods were small, cumulatively, as the background noise increased, the relative error increased for both methods, with the ESS method showing the largest error. In the case of tonal noise (as background noise), the results were consistent with those observed in the case of white noise. The study’s findings contribute to a better understanding of the ESS and MLS methods, and suggest the expected relative error of acoustic parameters when various types and levels of background noise are present. Additionally, the study suggests, based on background noise and level, the optimum method to conduct impulse response measurements. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Noise Control for Healthy and Enhanced Acoustic Environments)
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13 pages, 1078 KiB  
Article
The Importance of Noise Attenuation Levels in Neonatal Incubators
by Francisco Fernández-Zacarías, Virginia Puyana-Romero and Ricardo Hernández-Molina
Acoustics 2022, 4(4), 821-833; https://doi.org/10.3390/acoustics4040049 - 21 Sep 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2719
Abstract
Background: It is known that high noise levels can be harmful to preterm infants, causing physiological and psychological disorders. It is also known that premature babies spend a lot of time in an incubator. In this sense, many studies show that incubator noise [...] Read more.
Background: It is known that high noise levels can be harmful to preterm infants, causing physiological and psychological disorders. It is also known that premature babies spend a lot of time in an incubator. In this sense, many studies show that incubator noise levels can range from 45 to 70 dB. However, these differences in noise levels depend, fundamentally, on the wide range of methodology that can be used. This study aims to know the levels of noise from a fan in the incubator itself and how much it can isolate the noises coming from the outside. Methods: For this purpose, the noise levels of three incubators were measured within a sound-dampened booth for free-field audiometry. For the emission of acoustic energy, a pink noise generator was used; likewise, two microphones were placed, one inside the incubator cabin and the other outside, to determine the acoustic insulation levels of the tested incubators. Results: The incubators produced equivalent continuous sound pressure levels between 53.5 and 58 dB. Acoustic insulation analysis showed that levels varied from one incubator to another, between 5.2 and 10.4 dB. Conclusions: It is necessary to improve the acoustic insulation inside the incubator cabin and to reduce the noise levels of the motor fan. On the other hand, although the incubators are meeting the noise criteria set out in the IEC60601-2-19: 2009 standard of 60 dBA, under normal use conditions, they are still far from the limit recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics (45 dBA). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Noise Control for Healthy and Enhanced Acoustic Environments)
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13 pages, 3164 KiB  
Article
Environmental Noise Evolution during COVID-19 State of Emergency: Evidence of Peru’s Need for Action Plans
by Rubén Rodríguez, María Machimbarrena and Ana I. Tarrero
Acoustics 2022, 4(2), 479-491; https://doi.org/10.3390/acoustics4020030 - 2 Jun 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 3294
Abstract
In Peru, as in many countries worldwide, varying degrees of restrictions have been established on the movement of the population after the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the condition of pandemic by COVID-19. In Lima, there have been different degrees of compulsory social [...] Read more.
In Peru, as in many countries worldwide, varying degrees of restrictions have been established on the movement of the population after the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the condition of pandemic by COVID-19. In Lima, there have been different degrees of compulsory social immobilization (CSI), and the resumption of activities was planned in three consecutive phases. To analyse and evaluate the influence of such restrictions on the evolution of environmental noise, an investigation was carried out in one of the main avenues in the city of Lima during various successive mobility restriction conditions. The sound pressure level was measured, and the traffic flow was also registered. Considering that in Peru there is no environmental noise monitoring system whatsoever, in situ data are extremely valuable and allow the environmental noise problem to be depicted, even if in a limited area of the big city. The results show that in spite of the strongly restrictive social immobilization conditions, the measured noise levels have remained above the WHO recommendations and often above the Peruvian environmental noise quality standards. The results highlight the need to properly assess the environmental noise and noise sources in the city of Lima as well as the number of people exposed in order to adequately implement effective and cost-efficient noise mitigation action plans. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Noise Control for Healthy and Enhanced Acoustic Environments)
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16 pages, 3072 KiB  
Article
UAV Noise Emission—A Combined Experimental and Numerical Assessment
by Kai Cussen, Simone Garruccio and John Kennedy
Acoustics 2022, 4(2), 297-312; https://doi.org/10.3390/acoustics4020018 - 23 Mar 2022
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 6792
Abstract
Noise emission will be a significant obstacle to the widespread uptake of unmanned aerial vehicles or UAVs. The assessment and mitigation of UAV noise will require validated modelling approaches. The European Union has recently mandated an UAV sound power measurement procedure based on [...] Read more.
Noise emission will be a significant obstacle to the widespread uptake of unmanned aerial vehicles or UAVs. The assessment and mitigation of UAV noise will require validated modelling approaches. The European Union has recently mandated an UAV sound power measurement procedure based on a procedure for measuring machinery or equipment. It is not clear if this legally mandated noise assessment will provide useful data for environmental noise modelling of UAVs. This research aimed to determine the sound power level of a UAV according to the legally mandated ISO 3744 and to investigate the suitability of commercial implementations of ISO 9613 for modelling noise emission from UAVs. A class C1 UAV was used for the investigation which also included controlled flyover tests. Several different operating conditions were measured and modelled and the results compared. The small scale UAV used had a sound power of 86.8 dB (A) and modelled flyover tests agreed with experimental values within ±2.1 decibels at distances up to 30 m and within angles of 45–90° of the receiver. The validated model was then used for a case study of UAV noise emission in an urban setting. The model demonstrated the potential for UAV noise emission to significantly exceed urban background noise levels by up to 10 dB. It was found that flight altitude relative to building height had a significant impact on the number of allowable UAV operations within WHO LDEN guidelines. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Noise Control for Healthy and Enhanced Acoustic Environments)
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