Archives of Acoustics, 35, 2, pp. 213–222, 2010

Earplug actuator selection for a miniature personal active hearing protection system

Silesian University of Technology, Institute of Automatic Control

Mariusz LATOS
Silesian University of Technology, Institute of Automatic Control

There are many industrial environments which are exposed to a high-level noise. It is necessary to protect people from the noise. Most of the time, the consumer requires a miniature version of a noise canceller to satisfy the internal working place requirements. Very important thing is to select the most appropriate personal hearing protection device, for example an earplug. It should guarantee high passive noise attenuation and allow for secondary sound generation in case of active control. In many cases the noise is nonstationary. For instance, some of the noisy devices are switched on and off, speed of some rotors or fans changes, etc. To avoid any severe transient acoustic effects due to potential convergence problems of adaptive systems, a fixed-parameter approach to control is appreciated. If the noise were stationary, it would be possible to design an optimal control filter minimising variance of the signal being the effect of the acoustic noise and the secondary sound interference. Because of noise nonstationarity for most applications, the idea of generalised disturbance defined by a frequency window of different types has been developed by the authors and announced in previous publications. The aim of this paper is to apply such an approach to different earplugs and verify its noise reduction properties. Simulation experiments are conducted based on real world measurements performed using the G.R.A.S. artificial head equipped with an artificial mechanical ear, and the noise recorded in a power plant.
Keywords: active noise control; fixed-parameter control; high-level noise; nonstationary noise; feedforward control; earplug; hearing protection
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