Accurate and consistent measurements of airborne sound fulfil a wide range of regulatory, health, safety and commercial needs both within the UK and in support of international trade. Applications arise in the measurement of machinery and product noise, environmental and workplace noise, hearing protection, audiometry, and the quality control of acoustical devices.
NPL's airborne sound and audiometric expertise includes:
- Provision of primary standards for sound pressure in air, including the requirement to demonstrate equivalence of our standards with those of our trading partners.
- Dissemination of standards, largely achieved through the development, and where appropriate, delivery of specialised measurement services for the calibration of sound measuring instrumentation. These include calibration both for general purpose measurements and for specific applications having a widespread impact on the community.
- Addressing the need for instrumentation to comply with certain minimum performance requirements beyond the need to simply be calibrated. This is achieved through being involved in the development of international specification standards through IEC and OIML for example.
- Development of the infrastructure to underpin the measurement of hearing in the population.
- Undertaking of research into new test methodologies to underpin calibration applications, an example of this is the qualification of free-field rooms.
- Development of optical techniques as the basis of the next-generation measurement standards for the calibration of airborne sound measuring instruments.
- Development and application of novel MEMS-based microphones
- Calibration techniques for low-cost microphones.
- Measurement and guidance related to measurement of environmental and machinery noise.
- A guide for all parties who commission, undertake or use environmental sound predictions for commercial or industrial operations, of whatever type or scale, for which an environmental noise assessment may be required.
- NPL provides primary measurement standards appropriate for the wide range of acoustical measurements in air. These standards support sound pressure measurements for manufacturing and product QA, health, safety and hearing conservation, environment noise measurement and monitoring, and many other applications.