Acoustics

Former organisational unit. 31/12/2014. Replaced by Signal and Information Processing

Organisation profile

Head of Section
Dorte Hammershøi

FIELDS OF ACTIVITY
The following work is carried on: acoustics and sound in a broad sense, including generation, transmission and propagation of sound, human sound perception, electronic systems for measurement, processing and analysis of sound, reproduction of sound, in particular including the binaural technique for generation of three dimensional sound, measurement of noise, audio systems etc. Focus is aimed at controlling all necessary disciplines at a high level within the main fields. Apart from electroacoustics, psychoacoustics and physical acoustics these fields also include analogue and digital signal processing and construction of necessary equipment, for instance when carrying out listening tests. The activities of the section are teaching, research and different kinds of research display like building up demonstrators, participation in national and international standardization and participation in research projects with parallel technology development.


TEACHING
The staff at Acoustics actively participate at all semesters taught by the institute as acoustics related projects are suitable from first to last semester. Emphasis is naturally laid on electronics and signal processing, but also on computer science. For several years an M.Sc. programme in Acoustics has been offered. The now 4-semester programme is conducted in English. Throughout the years an almost equal representation of internal students from the signal processing specialization and foreign students with a similar background have followed the programme. The programme is based on research and gives the student a broad introduction to acoustics with focus on signal processing, physical acoustics, room and building acoustics, electroacoustics, psychoacoustics, measurement technique and acoustic noise. Since 2005 staff has been participated in the development of the Master in Vibroacoustics. Since 2006 the section has been centrally involved in the Product and Design Psychology education, where also many other aspects than sound is considered, e.g. in psychophysical experiments.

FACILITIES
Beneficial to the teaching is the fact that the section has some of the best facilities within special laboratories and electroacoustic equipment. This is also to the benefit of the relatively big Danish industry within acoustics and electroacoustics. The laboratory includes two anechoic chambers (6.2 m x 5.0 m x 5.8 m between the wedges, lower cutoff frequency approx. 65 Hz, and one smaller (4.1 m x 5.0 m x 4.5 m, lower cut-off frequency approx. 200 Hz), two standard listening rooms (30 m2, in agreement with IEC 60268-13, and one larger 60 m2, in agreement with ITU-R BS.1116 for setups according to ITU-R BS.775-1), an audiometry room (12 m2, for audiometry according to ISO 8253-1), infrasound chamber (reconstructed in 2002), pressure field chamber for low frequencies, a virtual reality room (53 m2, reverberation approx. 0.2 s, electromagnetic headtracking), reverberation room (200 m3, according to ISO 354, ISO 3741 and ISO 3742), plus two listening cabins of approx. 10 m2. All rooms are designed and equipped so that listening experiments can be carried out. There is e.g. control rooms for the setup of computer controlled setups, possibility for visual monitoration, intercom, computer connections (e.g. for the acquisition of responses), climate control in all measurement rooms, and living room for instruction and relaxation for subjects.


RESEARCH
At present, the section undertakes research within 1) human sound perception, including perception of direction and distance, hearing thresholds, perception of loudness and audiometric measurements, 2) effects of noise on human beings, e.g. hearing damages and annoyance, 3) recording and reproduction techniques with special emphasis on binaural technique, 4) sound quality, incl. principles of evaluating product sound and the fidelity of reproduced sound, and 5) computer generation of authentic sound corresponding to fictive acoustic surroundings, e.g. used for interactive virtual reality systems. Psychometry, acoustical measurement technique, electronics and signal processing form an integral part of the research.

The major part of the section's research is related to two strategic programmes: 1) frame programme concerning research in human sound perception with special reference to electroacoustic applications, including activities concerning risk of hearing damage, audiometric measurements and equipment calibration, annoyance from noise in general and from low frequency noise specifically, characteristics of head-related transfer functions and their significance in localisation, and 2) centre contract concerning sound quality, including activities concerning sound quality evaluation, identification of relevant auditory attributes, instrumental measurement of their acoustical correlates, as well as applications to product sound, sound design, and high quality audio systems. Both programmes are financially supported by the Research Council for Technology and Production and partners.

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