Date of Degree
MS (Master of Science)
Occupational and Environmental Health
Peters, Thomas M.
First Committee Member
Anthony, Renee T.
Second Committee Member
Thomas, Geb W.
Noise is a pervasive workplace hazard that varies spatially and temporally. Hazard mapping is a useful way to communicate intensity and distribution of noise sources in the workplace. These maps can be created using a stationary network of sensors, although the cost of noise measurement instruments has prohibited their use in such a network. The objectives for this work were to (1) develop an inexpensive noise sensor (<$100) that measures A-weighted sound pressure levels within ±2 dBA of a Type 2 sound level meter (SLM, ~$1,800); and (2) evaluate 50 noise sensors before field deployment as part of an inexpensive sensor network. The inexpensive noise sensor consists of an electret condenser microphone, an amplifier circuit, and a microcontroller with a small form factor (28mm by 47 mm by 9 mm) than can be operated as a stand-alone unit. Laboratory tests were conducted to evaluate 50 of the new sensors at 5 test levels. The testing levels were (1) ambient noise in a quiet office, (2) a pink noise test signal from 65 to 85 dBA in 10 dBA increments, and, (3) 94 dBA using a SLM calibrator. The difference between the output of the sensor and SLM were computed for each level and overall. Ninety-four percent of the noise sensors (n=46) were within ± 2 dBA of the SLM for noise levels from 65 dBA to 94 dBA. As noise level increased, bias decreased, ranging from 18.3% in the quiet office to 0.48% at 94 dBA. Overall bias of the sensors was 0.83% across the 75 dBA to 94 dBA range. These sensors are available for a variety of uses and can be customized for many applications, including incorporation into a stationary sensor network for continuously monitoring noise in manufacturing environments.
Hazard Evaluation, Inexpensive Sensors, Noise, Sensor Technology
vii, 48 pages
Includes bibliographical references (pages 35-37).
Copyright © 2017 Laura Ann Hallett
Hallett, Laura Ann. "Design and laboratory evaluation of an inexpensive noise sensor." MS (Master of Science) thesis, University of Iowa, 2017.