Acoustiblok® Debuts Revolutionary Acoustical Real-Time Video Imaging System®

Acoustiblok Inc., a NASA Spinoff listed company is now pioneering the use of the ACOUSTICAL REAL-TIME VIDEO IMAGING SYSTEM (ARTVIS™) in the U.S and internationally. Truly revolutionary, ARTVIS allows one for the first time to actually "see" sound in real-time (as you would see thermal contours with a Flir infrared camera). Not only can one measure the intensity and overall frequency content of the noise and its reflections, but also visually identify the direction, source and frequency spectrum of the noise.

Normally acoustical studies can require hundreds of sound measurements and take literally months to produce. Unfortunately, even at that, they are more than likely significantly hypothetical with much conjecture, especially when dealing with many noise sources simultaneously. And while the acoustical studies can be difficult for the customer to interpret, and very costly, the REAL cost to the customer is implementing a solution that has far less results than expected.

By using the ARTVIS, the acoustical engineer (and the customer) is able to “see” sound in the same manner as a thermal camera enables one to “see” heat images. The ARTVIS instrument can rapidly and conclusively identify specific noise sources, their intensities and frequencies as well as sound reflections, leading to an optimum and cost-effective application of sound attenuation materials. Needless to say, the savings to the customer can be staggering.

Recently, Acoustiblok engineers and consultants brought an ARTVIS system down to Brazil to identify noise problems at a very large diesel power generator plant that had problems with noise complaints from the surrounding community. The plant was also on the verge of being fined by the local government for non-compliance with noise regulations. Acoustiblok consultants were called in to identify the cause of the problem and propose a solution.

Acoustiblok determined the Acoustical Real-Time Video Imaging System was the best tool for the project because there are three large facilities with diesel generators at the location. They suspected one of the facilities was the prime cause of the noise complaints, however the data taken by previous acoustic consultants could not separate the noise generated from one facility verses another (there were 28 massive generators operating in one building alone). Acoustiblok advisors knew the ARTVIS could show both the intensity and source of noise, making it possible to determine the relative contribution of one facility verses another to the high noise levels.

Paul Hepple, an Acoustiblok engineer on the project said, “The client was extremely impressed with the ARTVIS results. The system was able to quickly and accurately pinpoint the noise sources and the specific frequencies." The Acoustiblok consultants were then able to advise the client on the best sound abatement products for the different types of noise problems within just a few days.

Shawn Saathoff, Vice President of Acoustiblok and a consultant on the project added, “The value of the Acoustical Real-Time Video Imaging System on this particular project is that it enabled the customer, who had a minimal background in acoustic measurement, to actually 'see' the sound that was propagating through and outside of the facility. Our biggest challenge was getting the acoustic camera to Brazil, as the microphone array was about four feet in diameter. ARTVIS is truly an ideal tool as it enables one to view sound as if you were in an anechoic chamber.”

The Acoustical Real-Time Video Imaging System is a highly specialized apparatus used to locate and analyze sound sources, most often for steady state and dynamic phenomena in real time. Because of the system’s speed to get from the data capture stage to the final result, and the ability to provide analysis of both steady state and dynamic phenomena, it is considered a giant step in innovation for the acoustic and sound abatement industry.

Other applications where the ARTVIS is particularly useful are situations where there are several potential sources of noise or if the noise source is moving (such as a train or automobile). The system is also effective at detecting noise “leaks” and identifying the source and direction of the noise. This is particularly important in the low frequency range, where the acoustic wavelengths are long and it is difficult to determine the direction of noise through normal bi-aural hearing.

Lahnie Johnson, President and Founder of Acoustiblok and Thermablok®, an advanced aerogel insulation company said, “We have been very pleased with the results of the Acoustical Real-Time Video Imaging System and anticipate using it as our key diagnostic tool on large scale problems such as road, city, rail, and industrial noise because ARTVIS can quickly and easily identify all of the noise sources and the frequency ranges. This enables us to determine optimum noise control solutions since we can identify the specific sources, frequency ranges and intensity of the noise problems. Power generator plants tend to have multiple noise sources with a wide frequency range that make pinpointing the noise sources difficult even for experienced engineers.”

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