Overview of SoundPLAN Modules

Released in SoundPLAN 8.0: Sound Particle Diffraction.

With the new Sound Particle Diffraction (SPD) model, it is now possible to model a factory building with multiple rooms and calculate the transmission from room to room through the walls. This means we can evaluate scenarios where a source is encapsulated in a machine enclosure, calculate the noise level in an operator stand shielded from the noisy factory floor, compute noise levels in an office adjacent to the noisy factory floor or the standard setup for power plants where the turbine sits on a floor slab and part of the machine house is open from ground to the roof.

Released in SoundPLAN 8.1 Room Acoustics module

Basic Room Acoustics parameters are being calculated within the SoundPLAN environment.

  • room response
  • room Acoustical parameters
  • reverberation time
  • speech intelligibility index (STI)
  • early decay time
  • room evaluation to ISO3382:3, E VDI2569 and DIN18041
  • auralization (hear how your room sounds and assess the impact of proposed room acoustic improvements)

Geo Database

The Geo-Database is the place where the most time is spent building the noise model. With the DXF and ASCII interfaces, a lot of common data from external sources can be imported and included in a comprehensive noise model. It is also possible to load a geo-referenced bitmap into the background and digitize on this canvas. DXF, ASCII interface and the background bitmap are all part of the Geo-Database. The data created in the Geo-Database are stored in an unlimited number of Geo-Files. To keep order in the multitude of Geo-Files, a sub-structure called “Situations” organizes the files in folders in a manner similar to how files are stored in folders in the Windows Explorer. An extensive collection of Geo-tools, view operations, and the selection and manipulation tools make the Geo-Database a highly sophisticated GIS type data entry and manipulation instrument. The Geo-Database hosts the SoundPLAN Manager (the project administration tool), the Library (the general storage area of data to be used in multiple projects), the Documentation (the producer of printed documentation on the findings of a single calculation run), the Spreadsheet (for comparing multiple calculation runs) and the non-modular graphics (for making overview graphics for presentations).

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Road Noise Propagation

Road Noise Propagation contains all the tools and objects needed for generating roads and calculating their emission values. Part of the road data is the geometrical description of the lanes, the road width and bridges. The emission is calculated in accordance with the user-selected road noise model (at present 17 road noise models are available in SoundPLAN). The emission values for the requested noise assessment (Lden, Lmax, Leq day¦.) are stored with the geometry in the Geo-Files. The SoundPLAN Calculations feed the source data into the propagation model. Various outputs, ranging from single point receivers to Grid Noise Maps, Façade Noise Maps and Meshed Noise Maps, can be generated. The Documentation, the Spreadsheet and the Graphics prepare various forms of output from the calculations. An optimization of noise control walls can be found in the Wall Design module.

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Railway Noise Propagation

Railway Noise Propagation supplies all the railway relevant tools and objects so railway lines can be entered, the noise calculated and the results presented in the Documentation, Spreadsheets and Graphics. An optimization of noise control walls can be found in the Wall Design module.

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Industry Noise Propagation

Industry Noise Propagation enables the user to create sources describing industrial usage. The source types are point, line and area sources, and the industrial building. The emissions of the sources need to be entered with the sound power for a single frequency or for an octave or third-octave band. Source definitions describe line and area sources as total sound power or as sound power per meter/square meter of the source. For the industrial building, it is possible to enter the sound pressure inside and calculate the transmission from the inside to the outside, or to define the sound power per square meter on the outside surface. In collaboration with the Indoor Factory Noise module, the sound pressure on the inside of the building can also be simulated. The library has functions to convert sound pressure measurements into the equivalent sound power. The library also contains a materials library for the transmission losses and the absorption coefficients. Industrial sources can also be associated with various directivities, and for time-variable sources, with a day history. Results can be post-processed in the Documentation, Spreadsheet and Graphics. Optimizations to fight industrial noise can be found in the module Expert System for Industrial Noise.

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Indoor Factory Noise

Indoor Factory Noise calculates noise inside factory buildings. The model is based on the German VDI 3760. Point, line, and area sources describe the sources; inside walls and absorption areas describe the objects inside the factory building. The industrial building itself has provisions for the geometry and for describing the absorption on the outside walls and the scattering inside the building. Calculations generate feed data for the transmission to the outside environment or to display a sound propagation curve inside the building, or are used for the final data for printed and plotted output.

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Aircraft Noise Propagation

Aircraft Noise Propagation simulations are in accordance with the various European aircraft noise regulations. Enter your model, calculate Grid Noise Maps, and combine the results of the noise from flying aircraft with the noise from ground operations, traffic sources, etc.

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Distributed Computing

Distributed Computing speeds up lengthy calculations by distributing the application on any number of PCs found in the network. Install a regular version or the demo version as a calculation server and scale your application to the speed you need. With just this module on one PC, there is no limit to the number of PCs used for mapping calculations. Multi-Threading is also an option to speed up calculations on a multi-core PC. This option is included in the most basic packages.

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Noise Mapping Toolbox

Noise Mapping Toolbox is useful for calculating big noise maps. It allows the user to convert the project into a tiled project with a tile size of usually 1×1 km or 2×2 km. With this technique, there is no limit to the size of the noise model you can process. All of Germany has been processed this way in a single project for the German END type railway noise map. The Noise Mapping Toolbox not only allows big noise maps to be processed in a tiled environment but also allows full access to the SoundPLAN Spreadsheet for free GIS type processing and combining results from calculations with a number of inhabitants through to the assessment of cost/benefit in noise control measures.

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Grid Noise Map

Grid Noise Map follows the terrain with a noise map calculated at a user-specified height above the ground. Powerful tools allow the results of the Grid Noise Map to be processed into noise contour maps. Colour the contour lines or the fill pattern in accordance with the user-defined scale. Contour lines can be output as straight lines or Bezier curves. Multiple Grid Noise Maps can be used in the same project and displayed in the same or multiple different drawings. If users have access to both the Grid Noise Map and the Façade Noise Map, a third noise map, the Meshed Map, automatically becomes available.
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Grid Cross-sectional Noise Map

Grid Cross-sectional Noise Map calculates and displays a grid type noise map on top of a given cutting line. Resolution and maximal height above terrain are user-defined. One Cross-sectional Noise Map can be displayed in the graphics, but one or multiple maps can be shown in the 3-D Graphics.
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Facade Noise Map

Facade Noise Map is the perfect tool for generating the base data for END statistics. Calculations are carried out for every floor of all enabled (mainly residential) buildings. The program can create receivers with a constant spacing along the façade or with a fixed number per façade. The post-processing can be done in the SoundPLAN Spreadsheet for numerical answers or in the Graphics for colour-coded display of the answers. In the top view, it is possible to colour each façade with the maximum noise level found on the façade or to mark facades that exceed the noise limit or that are quiet facades. In the 3-D Graphics, a niche display is to place a colour blob in the place of each receiver and have the colour-coordinated with the noise scale. Other options are a full area display of the façade areas. If users have access to the Grid Noise Map and the Façade Noise Map, a third noise map, the Meshed map, automatically becomes available.

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Cartography extends the customizing capabilities of the plotted (colour printer) result. Cartography makes it possible to generate contoured maps from user measured data depicting any topic from noise levels to annual rainfall.

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3-D Graphics

3-D Graphics can create wireframe and solid models from your graphics. Objects for display are the input geometry of the noise models plus derived, calculated data such as Digital Ground Models, Grid Noise Maps, Grid Cross-sectional Noise Maps, Meshed Maps and Façade Noise Maps. The program is capable of displaying multiples of each noise map type. It is also possible to “stretch” a bitmap from the planning process over the DGM and display it as a 3-D Graphic. Operations in the 3-D Graphics are zoom, move, tilt and rotate, so you can see your model from any direction. Preparing the 3-D Graphics for presentation in other graphics, unfortunately, requires converting it into a bit map. Open GL does not contain a way to output it to the printer directly. Higher print resolutions than the screen supplies are possible.

3-D Graphics Animations

3-D Graphics Animations are an extension of the normal 3-D Graphics. This module allows you to create a film sequence to move along a given road or another path, and to view the model from the perspective of a driver on the road. A second animation type is available to make a moving noise map for trains, where the maximum noise calculation intermediate results are displayed, resulting in the production of noise maps in time steps. This film sequence can be displayed online or saved to an AVI file.

ArcView Shape File Interface

The ArcView Shape File Interface allows the import and export of data in the ArcView Shapefile format. As this interface format involves a flexible database format, each imported file can contain coordinates as well as descriptive attributes. However, each object type requires a file of its own. If you want to import buildings and roads, 2 imports are required; one for the buildings and one for the roads.

TNM Interface

The TNM Interface allows users that have access to the US-TNM 2.5 software to export entire SoundPLAN models to TNM and to import TNM models. (TNM is a trademark of the US government; SoundPLAN is not endorsed by the Federal Government or any of its branches.)

Wall Design

Wall Design is the perfect tool for SoundPLAN users who need to dimension noise protection walls. A pre-calculation for single receivers or a Façade Noise Map iterates the height of a noise control wall (or the height of a berm) and records the reductions of noise levels per change in wall height. The automatic part of the optimization selects elements of the noise barrier in accordance with the reduction potential of the element. The optimization is a true optimization; it not only makes a suggestion for a single receiver but also attempts to deliver a solution where the number of meters along the façade that is above the noise limit, are minimized. A hands-on part of the optimization allows the final customization of the wall not only for acoustical parameters but also for the aesthetics of the wall. A speciality of the optimization is to compare the cost to benefits for any size of wall for an almost unlimited number of receivers. The optimized form of the wall can be saved and used for further calculations such a Grid Noise Maps where before and after scenarios are presented.

Window Dimensioning

Window Dimensioning is a simple application in spreadsheet format to associate receivers on the outside of a building with the room type and the noise levels inside. If the actual noise level exceeds the limit, suggestions about noise control windows are made in accordance with the size of the façade, the rooms usage and the type and size of the window.

Building Acoustics Outside

Building Acoustics Outside was created for customers who need to assess and document noise levels inside a building. Walls and windows are included in the assessment of the transmission and the optimization of a noise control concept. The data are organized in buildings, floors, apartments and rooms. The scope of this module includes assessing the indoor noise levels in a room on a straight façade with one outside noise level, to assessing corner rooms exposed to 2 directions of noise, to administrative tasks such as keeping track of apartment owners and building owners, through to knowing the geometry of the apartment. Scanned plans help identify locations, etc.

Expert System for Industry Noise

The Expert System for Industry Noise is tasked with documenting the status quo of an industrial area, ranking the noise sources in accordance to their contribution at various noise sensitive receivers and then finding the proper solution of silencers, dampers, etc. Costs and performance of the noise control measures are set in relation with each other and function as a guide for the optimization of industrial noise control.

Noise Allotment

Noise Allotment helps consultants to assign noise contingents to plots to be designated industrial areas. The aim is to maximize the noise allocation to each one of the plots without infringing upon the noise limits at the neighbouring plots.