NOISE/NOTES (Dec 2020)

By Eoin A. King, NNI Editor

NNI is on Facebook and Twitter. We try to keep our readers informed with noise news from all across the globe by highlighting interesting research and projects. Here is a roundup of some of the stories that have been making headlines. Follow @NNIEditor to stay up to date with all noise-related news!

The Noise News Podcast
Episode 2 of The Noise/News is now available wherever you get your podcasts. Tune in for a conversation with Dana Lodico, senior consultant of Illingworth & Rodkin Inc., and David Bowen, principal consultant of Acentech. We discuss all things related to product noise and a proposed new rating system (the PNR).

Is There Such a Thing as Too Quiet?
In this article from Bloomberg, we learn that in the new Rolls-Royce Ghost, early test audiences reported that the car felt too quiet—so quiet that it was disorienting and “bordering on nausea.” To address this, the car was redesigned to allow a soft undertone of sound into the car, which involved changing the rear seat frames and the car trunk, among other modifications.

A Protest in Switzerland
Le News
reported that over a weekend in August, hundreds of motorcyclists protested in Bern over two parliamentary initiatives aimed at silencing their bikes. The proposal sought to restrict motorcycles that made over 95 dBA from Swiss roads—which would restrict an estimated 10 percent of current motorcycles in Switzerland. Regulators also want to introduce a noise radar system that could be used to fine users on the road for excessive noise levels.

The Limit of the Speed of Sound
It seems that the fastest possible speed of sound is about 36 km per second! A recent study was conducted by researchers from Queen Mary University of London, the University of Cambridge, and the Institute for High Pressure Physics in Troitsk, and was published in the journal Science Advances. It showed that predicting the upper limit of the speed of sound is dependent on two dimensionless fundamental constants: the fine structure constant and the proton-to-electron mass ratio.

NOISE-CON 2020 Welcomed Nora Keegan
We had a special speaker at NOISE-CON 2020! We heard from 14-year-old Nora Keegan, who has been elevating the discussion of hand dryer noise from a common complaint to a documented issue for children’s hearing. Nora talked about her studies on hand dryer noise, her inspiration, her process and methods, and her more recent activities. Here is an article from the New York Times that discusses her work.

Safe and Sound—Autonomous Vehicles, Safety, and Noise
A paper recently published in Applied Acoustics is working toward using sound to improve the safety of autonomous vehicles, particularly when human drivers share the road with these vehicles. The authors combine a direction of arrival algorithm with LiDAR imaging to identify the location of a noise source that is hidden from direct view.