1997-05-20

The Effects of Linear Microphone Array Changes on Computed Sound Exposure Level Footprints 972011

Airport land planning commissions often are faced with determining how much area around an airport is affected by the sound exposure levels (SELs) associated with helicopter operations. This paper presents a study of the effects changing the size and composition of a microphone array has on the computed SEL contour (ground footprint) areas used by such commissions. Descent flight acoustic data measured by a fifteen microphone array were reprocessed for five different combinations of microphones within this array. This resulted in data for six different arrays for which SEL contours were computed. The fifteen microphone array was defined as the “baseline” array since it contained the greatest amount of data. The computations used a newly developed technique, the Acoustic Re-propagation Technique (ART), which uses parts of the NASA noise prediction program ROTONET. After the areas of the SEL contours were calculated the differences between the areas were determined. The area differences for the six arrays are presented that show a five and a three microphone array (with spacing typical of that required by the FAA FAR Part 36 noise certification procedure) compare well with the fifteen microphone array.
All data were obtained from a database resulting from a joint project conducted by NASA and U.S. Army researchers at Langley and Ames Research Centers. A brief description of the joint project test design, microphone array set-up, and data reduction methodology associated with the database are discussed.

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