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Abstract

New Year’s Eve is an example of a situation in which urban residents are exposed to an almost continuous and increased noise level from the impulsive sounds sources – fireworks. This custom has become a source of many controversies related to the protection of human and animal health or environmental pollution. However, current legal regulations only slightly affect the subject of noise of fireworks and its harmfulness. Currently, it does not seem possible to completely prohibit the use of fireworks in urban areas, but this does not mean that it is not possible to decrease the degree of their annoyance. The paper consists the issues of identification, analysis and assessment of impulsive noise of fireworks and acoustic climate during New Year’s Eve. Material presented refers to measurements of time series, frequency spectrum and values of noise parameters of selected fireworks. It was presented, among others, that the measured values exceed the criteria for occupational noise (LCpeak), due to the direct hazard of hearing loss, from 1.8 dB at a distance of 25 m and 6.2 dB at a distance of 15 m. Also this work discusses results of impulsive noise measurements of fireworks recorded during New Year’s Eve in years 2016–2017. Material refers to measurements at three measurement points spread over the city of Kraków. Obtained results were compared with typical noise levels for night time in urban area, indicating also the main sources of annoyance and hazard from this type of noise.
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Abstract

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.
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Abstract

In the paper, a noise map service designated for the user interested in environmental noise is presented. Noise prediction algorithm and source model, developed for creating acoustic maps, are working in the cloud computing environment. In the study, issues related to the noise modelling of sound propagation in urban spaces are discussed with a particular focus on traffic noise. Examples of results obtained through a web application created for that purpose are shown. In addition, these are compared to results obtained from the commercial software simulations based on two road noise prediction models. Moreover, the computing performance of the developed application is investigated and analyzed. In the paper, a flowchart simulating the operation of the noise web-based service is presented showing that the created application is easy to use even for people with little experience in computer technology.
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Abstract

The assessment of the uncertainty of measurement results, an essential problem in environmental acoustic investigations, is undertaken in the paper. An attention is drawn to the - usually omitted - problem of the verification of assumptions related to using the classic methods of the confidence intervals estimation, for the controlled measuring quantity. Especially the paper directs attention to the need of the verification of the assumption of the normal distribution of the measuring quantity set, being the base for the existing and binding procedures of the acoustic measurements assessment uncertainty. The essence of the undertaken problem concerns the binding legal and standard acts related to acoustic measurements and recommended in: 'Guide to the expression of uncertainty in measurement' (GUM) (OIML 1993), developed under the aegis of the International Bureau of Measures (BIPM). The model legitimacy of the hypothesis of the normal distribution of the measuring quantity set in acoustic measurements is discussed and supplemented by testing its likelihood on the environment acoustic results. The Jarque-Bery test based on skewness and flattening (curtosis) distribution measures was used for the analysis of results verifying the assumption. This test allows for the simultaneous analysis of the deviation from the normal distribution caused both by its skewness and flattening. The performed experiments concerned analyses of the distribution of sound levels: LD, LE, LN, LDWN, being the basic noise indicators in assessments of the environment acoustic hazards.
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Abstract

This work is focused on the automatic recognition of environmental noise sources that affect humans’ health and quality of life, namely industrial, aircraft, railway and road traffic. However, the recognition of the latter, which have the largest influence on citizens’ daily lives, is still an open issue. Therefore, although considering all the aforementioned noise sources, this paper especially focuses on improving the recognition of road noise events by taking advantage of the perceived noise differences along the road vehicle pass-by (which may be divided into different phases: approaching, passing and receding). To that effect, a hierarchical classification scheme that considers these phases independently has been implemented. The proposed classification scheme yields an averaged classification accuracy of 92.5%, which is, in absolute terms, 3% higher than the baseline (a traditional flat classification scheme without hierarchical structure). In particular, it outperforms the baseline in the classification of light and heavy vehicles, yielding a classification accuracy 7% and 4% higher, respectively. Finally, listening tests are performed to compare the system performance with human recognition ability. The results reveal that, although an expert human listener can achieve higher recognition accuracy than the proposed system, the latter outperforms the non-trained listener in 10% in average.
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