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Sound System Simulates the Roar of a Rocket Launch 113

retroworks writes "Located in Noordwijk, Netherlands, and part of ESA's ESTEDC Test Center, is the Large European Acoustic Facility (LEAF), a sound amplification system 'powerful enough to kill a human being.' LEAF is capable of generating more than 154 decibels, the sound equivalent to standing next to several jets taking off. It is used to blast satellites and spacecraft with sound. Large horns are housed in a sound-proofed room that is 16.4meters tall. One wall of horns stands 11 m wide by 9 m deep and 16.4 m high. LEAF requires all the doors to be closed, operating in steel-reinforced concrete walls to contain the noise. The walls are coated with an epoxy resin to reflect noise, producing a uniform sound field within the chamber."
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Sound System Simulates the Roar of a Rocket Launch

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  • by mpoulton ( 689851 ) on Sunday February 02, 2014 @05:09PM (#46135757)
    Car audio competitors exceed 154dB all the time. That's not even close to the sound pressure levels achieved in world-class competitions: [] That's 28.5dB louder than this testing facility, a factor of 707 times more power.
  • by Sparohok ( 318277 ) on Sunday February 02, 2014 @05:29PM (#46135839)

    Car audio competitors exceed 154db:
    * In a very small enclosed space (not a 16 meter room large enough to test spacecraft)
    * With an acoustic design to focus sound on the microphone (not intended to create a uniform soundfield)
    * For just a few seconds before the speaker voice coils melt
    * At a very small range of bass frequencies
    * Strictly without nobody inside the car to avoid certain injury - or perhaps even death, we have no way to know

    154db may not be unusual but what the LEAF facility is doing certainly is unusual.


  • by mpoulton ( 689851 ) on Sunday February 02, 2014 @06:18PM (#46136069)
    That's all certainly true. The facility is very impressive. Not because of the 154dB number, but because of all the other engineering factors involved. There's no doubt that the total amount of power involved is way higher than any audio system, and that it would be very unhealthy to stand in the box. It's just a bit odd and misleading to tout the SPL number as somehow being really impressive, when the chav blasting his ridiculous stereo at 3AM may be in the same dB ballpark.
  • move to Venus (Score:4, Interesting)

    by troon ( 724114 ) on Monday February 03, 2014 @03:48AM (#46138687)

    The maximum SPL on Earth is a trifling 193dB: the point at which the negative peak of the compression wave is a total vacuum.

    Move to Venus with its 90atm ambient "air" pressure, and you could get up to 233dB!

    Seriously, if you live near me and like thumping bass in your car, move there now! Ignore all that propaganda about high temperatures and acid rain... 233dB!!!

COMPASS [for the CDC-6000 series] is the sort of assembler one expects from a corporation whose president codes in octal. -- J.N. Gray