#12 Acoustic Camera

I recently used an acoustic camera for three factory noise projects in Mexico.  We were tasked with identifying the noise sources and reducing the noise from many machines.  We rented an acoustic camera to help us with this process.  An acoustic camera costs between $100,000 and $200,000.  I found it to be very helpful, impressive to clients and easy to use.

An acoustic camera is an imaging device used to locate sound sources and to characterize them. It is constructed of an array of microphones that gather information and project that on an image.  The array is on a portable disk that is connected to a laptop.  Videos and still photos can be generated.

There is a feature to block the noise from a particular spot, so that you can see the noise contribution from other areas.  The output shows the spectrum of the noise (octave, third octave, narrow band) and the level.  The acoustic camera can be aimed at the ceiling, walls and floor to measure the amount of noise coming from these reflected paths.

With the acoustic camera, we could identify the noise sources and the contribution from various reflective paths.  We could also determine the noise level from secondary and tertiary sources.  Noise predictions for the implementation of various noise mitigation options was easy.

The third octave data for the various noise paths made selecting treatments easier as well.

I would like to conclude by saying that an acoustic camera can be very useful for many noise source identification and treatment projects.

Sound Noise Acoustics provides information and resources to help people address acoustical issues. In these episodes my goal is to provide resources, inexpensive tools, rules of thumb when dealing with acoustical issues. I would like to explain basic acoustic principles and answer any questions. I will describe actual projects to make this as practical as possible.

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Sound Solutions is is an acoustical consulting firm that conducts noise measurements, analysis, reporting, materials and installation for environmental and architectural noise issues.


2 thoughts on “#12 Acoustic Camera

  1. I am interested to learn more about acoustic cameras. I did not know that with this invention one could identify noise sources and the contribution from various reflective paths. This method sounds very beneficial. Another thing to consider is if it is cost effective.

    • Jade – thank you for your comment. It can be cost effective for large or complicated projects. It saves lots of time. But in many cases it is not necessary.

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