254 research outputs found

    Acoustics Of Classrooms

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    In this article we will study sound—specifically, how sound allows us to communicate in a classroom and how we can improve that communication. You will learn how sound is measured and how people called acoustics engineers help architects and designers to make sure classrooms are not too noisy—or too quiet. We even have some experiments that you can do to measure sounds at home, at school, or in a football stadium

    Acoustic conditions in orchestra pits: are metadiffusers a potential solution?

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    Rising concerns about public health and safety have progressively induced a change in control of noise regulations, specifically on those applicable to the work environment. These directives have been developed to protect employees from harmful side effects of their working conditions, firstly targeting high noise levels generated by heavy machinery in industry. Nowadays, noise control regulations are widely effective and applicable to nearly all working environments, including institutions dedicated to the arts, such as opera houses. To the latter, directives on noise control are of major concern as opera performances tend to generate very high sound levels, especially in the area of the orchestra pit – the sunken space between stage and audience. In such context, management faces a difficult task conforming to noise regulations as they must balance the sometimes competing demands to (i) dutifully protect their employees – musicians and others – from any harmful ‘sounds’ or ‘noise’ that might be generated, and (ii) deliver world-class operatic art for the public, where noise regulations might compromise the culture of the art form. ‘Sound’ and ‘noise’ are two terms of intense interest when dealing with control of noise regulations in the entertainment sector. Indeed, noise is generally described as ‘unwanted’ sound, judged as unpleasant, whereas music is considered most of the time as a ‘desirable’ and pleasant sound; leading to a debate on the pertinence of noise regulations within the musical arts. Such debate has recently been discussed in the High Court in London, where the court favoured an orchestral viola player who claimed to have suffered noise induced hearing loss during a rehearsal of Wagner's Valkyrie1; the major argument being that the opera house exceeded industry-wide standards on noise control, viz. daily LAE > 85 dBA. Such a case has no precedent in UK history, raising concerns for other opera houses and music spaces on how to enforce noise regulations without affecting the performances’ nature. This leads to the question of whether noise control regulations should apply to all industries, regardless of the type of sound they generate

    Photovoltaic power plants: a multicriteria approach to investment decisions and a case study in western Spain

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    his paper proposes a compromise programming (CP) model to help investors decide whether to construct photovoltaic power plants with government financial support. For this purpose, we simulate an agreement between the government, who pursues political prices (guaranteed prices) as low as possible, and the project sponsor who wants returns (stochastic cash flows) as high as possible. The sponsor s decision depends on the positive or negative result of this simulation, the resulting simulated price being compared to the effective guaranteed price established by the country legislation for photovoltaic energy. To undertake the simulation, the CP model articulates variables such as ranges of guaranteed prices, tech- nical characteristics of the plant, expected energy to be generated over the investment life, investment cost, cash flow probabilities, and others. To determine the CP metric, risk aver- sion is assumed. As an actual application, a case study on photovoltaic power investment in Extremadura, western Spain, is developed in detail.Garcia-Bernabeu, A.; Benito Benito, A.; Bravo Selles, M.; Pla Santamaría, D. (2015). Photovoltaic power plants: a multicriteria approach to investment decisions and a case study in western Spain. Annals of Operations Research. 1-12. doi:10.1007/s10479-015-1836-2S112Andrews, R. W., Pollard, A., & Pearce, J. M. (2012). Improved parametric empirical determination of module short circuit current for modelling and optimization of solar photovoltaic systems. Solar Energy, 86(9), 2240–2254.Anwar, Y., & Mulyadi, M. S. (2011). Income tax incentives on renewable energy industry: Case of geothermal industry in USA and Indonesia. African Journal of Business Management, 5(31), 12264–12270.Aouni, B., & Kettani, O. (2001). Goal programming model: A glorious history and a promising future. European Journal of Operational Research, 133(2), 225–231.Ballestero, E. (1997). 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    Head-tracked auralisations for a dynamic audio experience in virtual reality sceneries

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    This paper aims to take advantage of the new cutting-edge virtual reality technologies – such as head-mounted displays for virtual reality and ambisonics – in order to recreate 3D immersive environments; both aural and visual. The work presented here is believed to encourage investigations into buildings yet to be, or those lost to civilisation. Through a combination of acoustic computer modelling, network protocol, game design and signal processing, this paper proposes a method for bridging acoustic simulations and interactive technologies, i.e. fostering a dynamic acoustic experience for virtual scenes via VR-oriented auralisation

    Metadiffusers for quasi-perfect and broadband sound diffusion

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    Sound diffusion refers to the ability of a surface to evenly scatter sound energy in both time and space. However, omnidirectional radiation of sound, or perfect diffusion, can be impractical or difficult to reach under traditional means. This is due to the considerable size required by, and the lack of tunability, of typical quarter-wavelength scattering strategies necessary for producing the required complexity of the surface acoustic impedance. As such, it can be a challenge to design sound diffusing structures that can display near perfect diffusion performance within slim dimensions. In this work, we propose a method for obtaining quasi-perfect and broadband sound diffusion coefficients using deep-subwavelength acoustic diffusers, i.e., metadiffusers. The relation between the geometry of the metasurface, the bandwidth and the diffusion performance is analytically and numerically studied. For moderate bandwidths, around 1/3 of an octave, the method results in nearly perfect sound diffusion, while for a bandwidth of 2.5 octaves a normalized diffusion coefficient of 0.8 was obtained using panels 1/30th thinner than traditional phase-grating designs. The ratio between the wavelength and the size of the unit cell was identified as a limitation of the performance. This work demonstrates the versatility and effectiveness of metadiffusers to generate diffuse reflections outperforming those of classical sound diffuser

    Effects of the insecticide fipronil in freshwater model organisms and microbial and periphyton communities

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    Fipronil is a broad-spectrum insecticide whose release in the environment damages many non-target organisms. This study evaluated the toxicity of fipronil at two biological levels using in vivo conditions and environmentally relevant concentrations: the first based on two model organisms (aquatic invertebrate Daphnia magna and the unicellular freshwater alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii) and a second based on three natural communities (river periphyton and freshwater and soil microbial communities). The physicochemical properties of fipronil make it apparently unstable in the environment, so its behaviour was followed with high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) under the different test conditions. The most sensitive organism to fipronil was D. magna, with median lethal dose (LC50) values from 0.07 to 0.38 mg/L (immobilisation test). Toxicity was not affected by the media used (MOPS or river water), but it increased with temperature. Fipronil produced effects on the photosynthetic activity of C. reinhardtii at 20 °C in MOPS (EC50 = 2.44 mg/L). The freshwater periphyton presented higher sensitivity to fipronil (photosynthetic yield EC50 of 0.74 mg/L) in MOPS and there was a time-dependent effect (toxicity increased with time). Toxicity was less evident when periphyton and C. reinhardtii tests were performed in river water, where the solubility of fipronil is poor. Finally, the assessment of the metabolic profiles using Biolog EcoPlates showed that bacteria communities were minimally affected by fipronil. The genetic identification of these communities based on 16S rRNA gene sequencing revealed that many of the taxa are specialists in degrading high molecular weight compounds, including pesticides. This work allows us to better understand the impact of fipronil on the environment at different levels of the food chain and in different environmental conditions, a necessary point given its presence in the environment and the complex behaviour of this compound

    Scattering evaluation of equivalent surface impedances of acoustic metamaterials in large FDTD volumes using RLC circuit modelling

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    Most simulations involving metamaterials often require complex physics to be solved through refined meshing grids. However, it can prove challenging to simulate the effect of local physical conditions created by said metamaterials into much wider computing sceneries due to the increased meshing load. We thus present in this work a framework for simulating complex structures with detailed geometries, such as metamaterials, into large Finite-Difference Time-Domain (FDTD) computing environments by reducing them to their equivalent surface impedance represented by a parallel-series RLC circuit. This reduction helps to simplify the physics involved as well as drastically reducing the meshing load of the model and the implicit calculation time. Here, an emphasis is made on scattering comparisons between an acoustic metamaterial and its equivalent surface impedance through analytical and numerical methods. Additionally, the problem of fitting RLC parameters to complex impedance data obtained from transfer matrix models is herein solved using a novel approach based on zero crossings of admittance phase derivatives. Despite the simplification process, the proposed framework achieves good overall results with respect to the original acoustic scatterer while ensuring relatively short simulation times over a vast range of frequencies
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