Measuring environmental noise from airports, oil and gas operations, and traffic with smartphone applications: laboratory and field trials

Environmental noise from sources such as traffic, airports, and oil and gas (O&G) operations is associated with nuisance and health concerns. Smartphones with external microphones have been recommended for environmental noise monitoring and may be useful tools for citizen science, but are not validated against reference methods. The authors evaluated laboratory performance of three smartphone/application (app) configurations recommended for environmental noise measurement. Two smartphone/app configurations were also compared to a reference sampler, a type 1 sound level meter (SLM) at ten outdoor sites with traffic, airport, and O&G noise. To evaluate performance, the authors compared the mean squared error, variance, bias, and Krippendorff’s Alpha by smartphone/app combination and testing location for both audible (A-weighted) and low-frequency (C-weighted) noise. The authors observed that laboratory measurements were in strong agreement with a reference sampler. The field A-weighted noise level results had strong agreement with the SLM at several outdoor sites, but the C-weighted noise results ranged from moderate to substantial agreement. For the tested configurations, the authors find that smartphones with external microphones are reliable proxies for measuring A- and C-weighted noise in a laboratory setting. Outdoor performance depends on noise source type, weighting, and precision and accuracy needs of the investigation.

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  • English

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  • Accession Number: 01705982
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: May 14 2019 12:19PM