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Perceived Unpleasantness of Aircraft Flyover Noise: Influence of Temporal Parameters

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The perceived unpleasantness due to aircraft flyover noise is mostly explained by a) non-acoustical factors, and b) the noise level, on which future progress will be prospectively hard and expensive to obtain. However, the literature suggests that sound-quality approaches may provide new solutions for reducing the perceived unpleasantness. The study reported here investigates the effects of the temporal parameters of single aircraft flyover sound signatures on the unpleasantness experienced by people outside the aircraft. Two listening tests (semantic differential, synthesised stimuli) were conducted. In the first test the stimuli were equalised according to the EPNL in order to concentrate on the slope, duration and amount of fluctuation of the sound signatures. In the second test the influences of the temporal aspects and of the noise level were compared. Statistical analyses were performed. Although slope and duration were made independent, their perceptions remain correlated. Descriptors are proposed for assessing the duration and the amount of fluctuation. For both configurations (stimuli equalised or not), a model is proposed, in which the unpleasantness is explained by the duration, the amount of fluctuation and the noise level. Unsurprisingly the noise level is the most influential factor for the unpleasantness, but the temporal factors are also important. The amount of fluctuation strongly correlates with the unpleasantness. The duration has a two-sided effect: short flyover noises exhibit higher peak levels and so increase the unpleasantness; long flyover noises maximise the length of sound exposure and also increase the unpleasantness.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2017-01-01

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  • Acta Acustica united with Acustica, published together with the European Acoustics Association (EAA), is an international, peer-reviewed journal on acoustics. It publishes original articles on all subjects in the field of acoustics, such as general linear acoustics, nonlinear acoustics, macrosonics, flow acoustics, atmospheric sound, underwater sound, ultrasonics, physical acoustics, structural acoustics, noise control, active control, environmental noise, building acoustics, room acoustics, acoustic materials, acoustic signal processing, computational and numerical acoustics, hearing, audiology and psychoacoustics, speech, musical acoustics, electroacoustics, auditory quality of systems. It reports on original scientific research in acoustics and on engineering applications. The journal considers scientific papers, technical and applied papers, book reviews, short communications, doctoral thesis abstracts, etc. In irregular intervals also special issues and review articles are published.
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