In Situ Measurements of Acoustic Properties of Surfaces
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The primary goal of this work is to measure the acoustic properties of a surface in situ. This generally involves sound pressure measurements and a calculation of the acoustic reflection factor of a surface, which may then be used to calculate the acoustic impedance or the acoustic absorption coefficient. These quantities are of use in acoustic simulations, architectural design, room acoustics and problems in noise control. It is of great interest to determine the performance of a particular surface where it is used, as opposed to measurements conducted in a laboratory. In situ measurements are not trivial, caution must be taken to ensure that high signal-to-noise levels are achieved and that the reflections of sound from the measurement environment are taken into consideration. This study presents five measurement methods that may be applied in situ. The acoustic absorption coefficient is calculated for each method on various surfaces spanning the whole range of absorption. Emphasis is placed on frequency resolution, in order to determine absorption characteristics in the bass region (50 Hz to 200 Hz). Advantages and disadvantages of each method are demonstrated and discussed. Finally, the in situ implementation of the surface pressure method is presented and measurements are made in order to test the limitations of this approach.