Relative signal levels of a sinusoid with and without background noise

In the process of looking at some order data, a question about the accuracy of the measurement of the signal level of discrete frequency signals which were close to the general noise level.  To answer this question, a small DATS worksheet was created which generated 2 signals.  The first signal was a 35 Hz sinusoid which, by itself the spectrum level was measured to be approximately -9 dB (ref 1 V) as seen in Figure 1.

Spectrum level of 35Hz sinusoid
Fig 1: Spectrum level of 35Hz sinusoid


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Sound Steering

The requirement was to develop a ‘standard’ test for assessing power steering pump noise (and sound quality) in vehicles. Measurements needed to be objective so that the method would be suitable for evaluating dissimilar vehicles and different types of pump.

Noise is an important consideration when a consumer is selecting a new vehicle. It is therefore imperative that every aspect of the vehicle’s acoustic profile is thoroughly understood and refined.

From an end user point of view the assessment criterion is simply how much will the driver or passengers hear the pump noise in relation to the vehicle background noise. That is, will the pump produce, what may be called, audible tones with the vehicle in different operating conditions.


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Interpretation of the Articulation Index

The Articulation Index or AI gives a measure of the intelligibility of hearing speech in a given noise environment. The metric was originally developed in 1949 in order to give a single value that categorised the speech intelligibility of a communication system. The basic interpretation of the AI value is the higher the value then the easier it is to hear the spoken word. The AI value is expressed either as a factor in the range zero to unity or as a percentage.


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