AA+A Acoustics program featured in WGN Channel 9 News

Date: 5/13/2011

WGN Channel 9 featured the AA+A Acoustics program on their Thursday 5/12 and Friday 5/13 news broadcasts as part of a transportation noise measurement and mitigation story.

Science, art, and technology were brought together productively at AA+A in the service of a real-world topic with relevance to the wider population: noise in general and transportation noise in particular, which is highly relevant to any urban environment.

Faculty and students of our Bachelor of Science in Acoustics degree program, along with audio industry leaders Rich Peppin (Scantek Inc. president) and Tom Danley (Danley Sound Labs president) gathered around a state of the art acoustic camera by Norsonic, set up outside the AA+A building and focusing on the EL tracks. At the heart of this piece of equipment are over 200 high resolution microphones distributed on the surface of a circular disk antenna. The microphone responses are coordinated to the entire microphone set in order to provide precise and reliable measurements of noise signals and their composition as well as identify noise source location and spatial spread of the noise signal as a whole and for any desired combination of its ingredients.

This is assisted by software that, in addition to organizing the raw data collected by the microphones visualizes them in a way that helps experts to validly interpret measurements but also to engagingly and convincingly communicate their problem assessment and suggested solution to the general public and legislative and operational groups which as a rule cannot be expected to be familiar with the scientific bases of the problem at hand.

The key ingredient for our students’ success in such important projects is collaboration:

First, collaboration between the College’s Audio Arts + Acoustics and the Science and Mathematics departments for expertise, resource, and curricular sharing and coordination, on which Dr. Dominique Cheenne, Acoustics Program director, Dr. Constantin Rasinariu, the Science and Mathematics Department Chairman, and their respective faculty have been working diligently for a long time.

Second, collaboration between the College and the relevant industry in order to get access to technology we could otherwise not afford.

Image: Top Left – Richard Peppin, President, Scantek, Inc with loaned Norsonic Nor848 Acoustic Camera; Top Right – Pantelis Vassilakis, Ph.D, Chairman, Audio Arts + Acoustics Department and Randi Belisomo, WGN Channel 9; Bottom Left – Pantelis Vassilakis, Tom Danley, President, Danley Sound Labs, Richard Peppin (back to camera), Doug Jones, MA, Associate Professor, Acoustics, AA+A Department and Peter Zhang, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Acoustics, AA+A Department

Scantek Inc., a worldwide leader in sound and vibration instrumentation sales, service, calibration, and rental., not only generously brought to us the Norsonic acoustic camera but also offered relevant expertise through Scantek’s president, Mr. Rich Peppin.

This has been a very exciting real-world and highly sophisticated learning opportunity for our students. We look forward to more such opportunities in the semesters to come and to noise measurement and mitigation studies that will help the City of Chicago to become less noisy.

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