The Upper Austrian start-up SevenBel has developed a method to make noise sources visible, enabling engineers to prevent undesirable noise in buildings or devices. AT&S high-tech printed circuit boards are part of the sensor units making this possible.
When the refrigerator at home or the air conditioning at the office causes irritating noises, that is often the end of the feel-good atmosphere. To prevent this from happening, engineers have to identify potential acoustic problem sources early. However, measuring a sound field accurately is not an easy task. The Linz-based company SevenBel has developed an innovative solution to make sound sources visible in images.
To measure a sound field, SevenBel uses a sensor equipped with highly sensitive microphones, which is set into a rotating motion. This way, acoustic information can be captured very accurately. The data is then sent to a data processing center via the SevenBel app, where the signals are combined with a photo of the measured environment. In the end, the user receives a high-resolution image showing the sound sources color-coded by intensity. The individual frequency ranges can then be thoroughly analyzed through the app.
Fast and easy
Creating an acoustic image only takes three minutes with the SevenBel system. Even inexperienced users can record the sound field of devices or rooms without complicated set-ups and preparation for measurements. All that is needed is a mobile device and the SevenBel system, which consists of the app and a sound scanner. This reduces the technology required for measuring to a minimum, allowing flexible use virtually anywhere.
Manufacturers of products such as refrigerators, cars, and other devices can use the sound scanner to examine their products for undesirable noise sources already in the development phase and optimize them where necessary. Likewise, planners of office buildings or schools can identify early on if ventilation or other technical systems might cause disturbing noise. In industry, production facilities can be optimized to keep employees’ exposure to noise to a minimum. In addition, reviewing the acoustic behavior of systems can also support maintenance, for example when inspecting high-voltage insulators.
Maintenance of high voltage insulators is made easier by acoustic pictures. / F: SevenBel
To make the design of the sound scanner as compact as possible while still allowing high-resolution images of the sound field, SevenBel relies on tiny digital microphones, which are realized as miniaturized electromechanical systems directly on a high-tech printed circuit board made by AT&S. By using up to five such microphones on a rotating sensor, measurement geometries specifically aligned to the respective application can be achieved, which allow very accurate differentiation of volume levels.
AT&S at the CES Las Vegas
AT&S will be presenting these and many other solutions for the first time at one of the world’s most influential technology events – the Consumer Electronics Show CES in Las Vegas. Visit us from January 5 to 8, 2022 at our booth #51134 in the Austria Pavilion at the Venetian Expo and find out everything about how AT&S is helping to shape the future.