An innovative system designed for the continuous monitoring of acoustic climate of urban areas was presented in the paper. The assessment of environmental threats is performed using online data, acquired through a grid of engineered monitoring stations collecting comprehensive information about the acoustic climate of urban areas. The grid of proposed devices provides valuable data for the purpose of long and short time acoustic climate analysis. Dynamic estimation of noise source parameters and real measurement results of emission data are utilized to create dynamic noise maps accessible to the general public. This operation is performed through the noise source prediction employing a propagation model being optimized for computer cluster implementation requirements. It enables the system to generate noise maps in a reasonable time and to publish regularly map updates in the Internet. Moreover, the functionality of the system was extended with new techniques for assessing noise-induced harmful effects on the human hearing system. The principle of operation of the dosimeter is based on a modified psychoacoustic model of hearing and on the results of research performed with participation of volunteers concerning the impact of noise on hearing. The primary function of the dosimeter is to estimate, in real time, auditory effects which are caused by exposure to noise. The results of measurements and simulations performed by the system prototype are depicted and analyzed. Several cases of long-term and short-term measurements of noise originating from various sources were considered in detail. The presented outcomes of predicted degree of the hearing threshold shift induced during the noise exposure can increase the awareness of harmfulness of excessive sound levels.
The implemented online urban noise pollution monitoring system is presented with regard to its conceptual assumptions and technical realization. A concept of the noise source parameters dynamic assessment is introduced. The idea of noise modeling, based on noise emission characteristics and emission simulations, was developed and practically utilized in the system. Furthermore, the working system architecture and the data acquisition scheme are described. The method for increasing the speed of noise map calculation employing a supercomputer is explained. The practical implementation of noise maps generation and visualization system is presented, together with introduced improvements in the domain of continuous noise monitoring and acoustic maps creation. Some results of tests performed using the system prototype are shown. The main focus is put on assessing the efficiency of the acoustic maps created with the discussed system, in comparison to results obtained with traditional methods.