Noise Path Analysis techniques (NPA) have been developed and refined by the automotive industry for structure-borne noise and vibration evaluation of their products. Off-highway vehicles, particularly those with enclosed cabs, are excellent candidates for the application of these techniques. Like automobiles, many off-highway machines are typically driven by a rotating power source, have a well-defined acoustic receiver space, and use some form of isolation between source and receiver sub-systems. These structural characteristics make NPA a useful tool for identifying dominant sources and energy transfer paths.
The objectives of this paper are to revisit the fundamental theory of matrix inversion as it applies to NPA techniques, and to address the common setup and measurement issues encountered when acquiring noise path data on off-highway machines. A general overview of the procedures involved in applying NPA to an off-highway machine will be presented. Selection and measurement of target frequency response functions (FRF), as well as the measurement of vibro-acoustic FRF's using reciprocal techniques, will be discussed. Sub-system selection and appropriate measurement boundary conditions will also be emphasized.