News from my school project

A few months ago, I wrote about a school project that I am doing at ENSIM with 4 classmates. At that time, it was just the beginning, let’s see where we are now.

The first goal of this project was to do a research on psychoacoustics indicators. Our project is about determining a new method to tell if an engine generates unpleasant noise. The notion of unpleasant being very subjective, we had to search for these psychoacoustics indicators that can tell us more about it. We ended up by reading some PhD theses and we wrote a 12-page report in which we talk about loudness, sharpness, roughness and fluctuation force etc. It was very interesting but the next step was even better !


Isosonic curves. On each curve, the loudness had the same value.

Now that we knew what to compute to know if a noise is unpleasant or not, we needed … noise ! So this week, we were invited by Manitou Group to do measurements on their machines. We did it this Thursday and though it was freezing cold (23°F), it was very interesting and all the team loved to do real things instead of bibliographic research !


During our measurements, we had to carry this badge.

What are the next steps ? Well, there is a lot of signal processing first. I have written MATLAB programs that will help us with all the records we have. We will compute the psychoacoustics indicators and plot graphs. We will also do a design of experiments to see if there is an optimal engine regarding noise. And then, we will do a psychoacoustics test to see if our scientific method is close to the real perception by people.


Plot of specific loudness (left : left and right ear – right : mean of both ears) computed on example data. Click to enlarge.

The more we go through this project, the more I am interested. It’s a lot of work and the teacher that is managing the project with us always add more work on the desk, but I appreciate doing real things with a real company behind !

Next week, back to the internship again, there might be some good news to announce =)

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