Noise pollution in urban environments is becoming increasingly common and it has potential to negatively impact people’s health and decrease overall productivity. In order to alleviate these effects, it is important to better quantify noise patterns and levels through data collection and analysis. Wireless sensor networks offer a method for achieving this with a higher level of granularity than traditional handheld devices. In this study, a wireless sensing unit (WSU) was developed that possesses the same functionality as a handheld sound level meter. The WSU is comprised of a microcontroller unit that enables on-board computations, a wireless transceiver that uses Zigbee protocol for data transmission, and an external peripheral board that houses the microphone transducer. The WSU utilizes on-board data processing techniques to monitor noise by computing equivalent continuous sound levels, LeqT, which effectively minimizes data transmission and increases the overall longevity of the node. Strategies are also employed to ensure real-time functionality is maintained on the sensing unit, with a focus on preventing bottlenecks between data acquisition, data processing, and wireless transmission. Four units were deployed in two weeks field validation test and were shown to be capable of monitoring noise for extended periods of time.
Peckens, Courtney; Porter, Cédric; Rink, Taylor. 2018. "Wireless Sensor Networks for Long-Term Monitoring of Urban Noise." Sensors 18, no. 9: 3161. https://doi.org/10.3390/s18093161