Noise is a major factor in our everyday lives. TNO's expertise in the field of noise and noise nuisance helps us to be happy and healthy both at home and at work.
TNO mainly focuses on reducing noise nuisance and on predicting its adverse effects, which depend on the volume of the noise and the type of source involved. The government needs the above information to develop standards that will protect the public against noise nuisance.
TNO has the sophisticated know-how needed to combat noise effectively. Determining the effect of an acoustic barrier alongside a motorway does not have to involve overly complicated calculations. However, the construction of roads or railways in heavily built-up areas is quite a different matter. TNO's noise calculations are based on advanced mathematical models. This approach has been used, for example, to help design a tunnel, fitted with canopies, along the A4 motorway at Leiden. It has also been used to reduce the noise of trams crossing the Erasmus Bridge, in Rotterdam. In addition, more thoroughgoing knowledge is needed to develop countermeasures against noise sources that create nuisance for many kilometres in all directions, such as airports or gunshots. At Schiphol this has led to a special measure to abate the noise of aircraft taking off from the Polderbaan runway: ridges to counteract ground noise. TNO has an excellent track record in finding solutions to complex noise problems and challenges that require out-of-the-box thinking.
Measuring noise and noise nuisance Before you can devise an effective solution to an existing noise problem, you must first have a thorough understanding of the noise sources involved and of the nuisance perceived by those in the surrounding area. TNO has developed a system of measurements and calculations to provide insight into these matters. This system measures not only the actual noise, but also the degree of discomfort that people feel. When these measurements are combined with a mathematical model, a complete picture is obtained of the noise, as it fluctuates over time, at any given location, i.e. not just where the microphones are located.
Government bodies, businesses and individuals can all make use of TNO's expertise. Anyone consulting TNO about more complex issues and problems that demand truly innovative solutions has come to the right place.