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Evaluation of a New Measurement Method for Tire/Road Noise

Noise is a growing health concern as urban residents increases rapidly and more reports of noise causing sleep disturbances and increasing the risk of cardiovascular health problems are published.

Noise has a negative influence on life quality. This life quality deficiency also shows in housing and office pricing in noisy environments. Housing and office prices are often higher in quiet areas than in noisy areas. Therefore noise is both a health issue and has big economic consequences.

The biggest contributor to the road traffic noise is the tire/road noise at speeds above 50km/h. Therefore this is an important aspect to monitor and the problem has to be alleviated. In this thesis the client Ramböll has gotten many contracts concerning the state of the roads from governmental institutes. As a part of the evaluation of the roads they want to implement the noise emission as a factor. This gives the government institutions another parameter that helps in the decision of which part of the road network to refurbish first.

In the effort to decide what is best way for Ramböll to measure noise a new setup for measuring noise has been developed. The most used ways of measuring tire/road-noise is the close proximity (CPX) -method and the statistical pass-by (SPB) -method. These methods both give accurate results but they have drawbacks. The SPB measurements are time consuming and only give noise levels for a small patch of a road. CPX measurement on the other hand require costly and time consuming development of a measurement trailer. Certifying the trailer and maintenance work of it is expensive. So this report shows a first step in how to build a measurement setup and what aspects were taken into consideration when it was designed.

A close proximity measurement setup in the form of a tube with a microphone placed inside it was built and installed underneath the measurement vehicle. The  measurement setup designed and built was named the Tube-CPX measurement setup in this report. The measurements performed with this Tube-CPX measurement setup show promising results. Similarities between CPX measurement setup and the Tube-CPX setup have been found both in the frequency spectrum as well as in the relation with pass-by measurement noise levels. The repeatability of the Tube-CPX measurements is even better than the compared CPX measurements.

Although results are promising more work is required before the Tube-CPX setup can be seen in operation at Ramböll. In particular the question which source causes which sound pressure is required to understand the measured levels. And also more controlled pass-by measurements have to be performed to determine the relation of the absolute values measured at the tire/road impact spot to the values that are most interesting, namely the sound pressure levels that the human at the side of the road depicts.
Source: KTH
Author: Slama, Jens

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