Drive-by large-region acoustic noise-source mapping via sparse beamforming tomography

Cagdas Tuna, Shengkui Zhao, Thi Ngoc Tho Nguyen, Douglas L. Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Environmental noise is a risk factor for human physical and mental health, demanding an efficient large-scale noise-monitoring scheme. The current technology, however, involves extensive sound pressure level (SPL) measurements at a dense grid of locations, making it impractical on a city-wide scale. This paper presents an alternative approach using a microphone array mounted on a moving vehicle to generate two-dimensional acoustic tomographic maps that yield the locations and SPLs of the noise-sources sparsely distributed in the neighborhood traveled by the vehicle. The far-field frequency-domain delay-and-sum beamforming output power values computed at multiple locations as the vehicle drives by are used as tomographic measurements. The proposed method is tested with acoustic data collected by driving an electric vehicle with a rooftop-mounted microphone array along a straight road next to a large open field, on which various pre-recorded noise-sources were produced by a loudspeaker at different locations. The accuracy of the tomographic imaging results demonstrates the promise of this approach for rapid, low-cost environmental noise-monitoring.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2530-2541
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


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