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The University of Southampton

Supporting transport engineers to cut transport noise

Published: 23 May 2014Origin: Engineering

Innovative work by a University of Southampton researcher could help engineers in the transport industry understand more about noise and vibration in vehicles, ships and planes. Although the science of acoustics has been studied since the 19th century, it is still difficult to model noise in complex dynamic systems - environments with many surfaces and sources of noise.

Engineering Research Fellow Dr Christophe Lecomte's work both at the Institute of Sound and Vibration Research (ISVR) and at the Southampton Statistical Sciences Research Institute (S3RI) on complex frequency averaging is featured in a research paper published in the Royal Society journal Proceedings of the Royal Society A.

While it is easy to model simple low frequency sounds, such as a single resonant note from a musical instrument, and relatively straightforward to model high frequency noises made of a multitude of resonances and sounds, such as background noise in a very busy room, it is very complicated to do the same with mid frequency noises.  Think about how it is complicated to identify the noise from several instruments being played in a room full of chatter.  The same kind of difficulty occurs when one tries to understand and reduce the vibration and noise of vehicles, ships and planes.  Christophe has developed a method of averaging the peaks and troughs caused by resonances which will aid engineers in industry develop quieter modes of transport.

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