Area-based environmental noise measurements using wireless sensor network

Regular paper

Ilkka Kivelä

University of Jyväskylä / Kokkola

Wednesday 3 june, 2015, 14:20 - 14:40

0.8 Rome (118)

Global concern about environmental issues has risen dramatically in recent years. Exposure to environmental noise has a significant impact on human health and well-being. excess exposure results in an increase in the risk of permanent hearing damage, but recent studies have also demonstrated that noise also causes ischemic heart disease, hypertension and stress. Traditionally, environmental noise assessment is based on temporary measurements and noise mapping. The disadvantages of this method are obvious: 1) commercial sound meters are expensive, making large scale measurement very costly, 2) point-by-point measurement makes the result incoherent in time, 3) due to the lack of communication facility, the measured result is not available in real-time, and 4) the sound meter has to be fully attended, which increases the work load. Noise maps are generated using modeling software that uses different initial data values, such as traffic, noise sources, terrains, and buildings to estimate sound variations. Noise maps usually present yearly averages, which do not provide a realistic picture of variations in time. Short-term events are impossible to distinguish from noise maps when the noise may have exceeded the limitations. To be able to notice the short-term changes, the real-time observation of the noise measurements have a great importance. In this paper, we present wireless noise sensor network for the new area- based noise monitoring. The network enables synchronized measurements in several locations in real-time. In this area-based noise monitoring, the network calculates one equivalent noise value for the monitored area. The measurement method’s feasibility and reliability is evaluated in a real measuring pilot that consists of 12 noise sensors. The experience gained from the utilization and deployment of the network is discussed together with network performance analysis.

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