Environmental Noise Monitoring Using a Wireless Sensor Network
Dr. Courtney Peckens, Engineering
Environmental noise monitoring is quickly increasing in relevance due to urbanization and this increase can have negative impacts on human productiveness. However, certain measures can be taken to negate the noise. The Jack H. Miller Center for Musical Arts on the campus of Hope College was built with noise cancellation purposes in mind due to the building’s close proximity to railroad tracks. The purpose of this research was to develop a network of wireless sensors capable of measuring the noise levels both outside and inside of the Jack H. Miller Center in order to validate the effectiveness of the noise cancellation features of the building. Toward this end, a Sparkfun Sound Detector board was chosen as a prototype transducer for measuring audio signals, and it was calibrated in the Jack H. Miller Center to establish a baseline for a conversion from Analog-to- Digital Converter readings to decibel units. Simultaneously, a wireless sensor node that will be eventually adopted for noise monitoring was updated to make the data acquisition process more reliable and the overall network of sensors more robust. The wireless sensor network was modified to handle heavier wireless traffic and to transfer data acquisition control to a single board computer (SBC) rather than user input. Network tests were performed, which showed the network to be functional. The next steps in this research are to interface the sound detector board with the wireless sensor node such that it can sample at a frequency of at least 12 kHz, as well as communicate across an existing existing wireless sensor network.
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