Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Expendable Microphones May Help Locate Building Collapse Survivors

Date:
January 31, 2003
Source:
Penn State
Summary:
Data gathered by Penn State engineers in a volunteer effort at the World Trade Center tragedy, suggests that simple, inexpensive microphones dropped into the rubble of a collapsed building may be able to aid search and rescue teams despite ground level noise.

Data gathered by Penn State engineers in a volunteer effort at the World Trade Center tragedy, suggests that simple, inexpensive microphones dropped into the rubble of a collapsed building may be able to aid search and rescue teams despite ground level noise.

Dr. Thomas B. Gabrielson, associate professor of acoustics and senior research associate at Penn State's Applied Research Laboratory, says, "In conventional survivor searches, noise generating activities at the surface must be stopped while listening for survivors."

However, the Penn State team found that the noise level in the interior voids of the rubble was about the same as that of a quiet residential neighborhood even though the noise level at the surface was much higher due to constant operation of three heavy lift cranes, air hammers, and dozens of rescuers workers.

"Our results suggest that if expendable microphones were dropped or thrown into the voids in a building collapse, the sounds from trapped survivors would be louder and the surrounding noise quieter so that acoustic search could be continued without interfering with other operations," Gabrielson says.

Since the Penn State team made their measurements, they have developed small wireless microphones in hardened packages that can be thrown into areas too dangerous for people to enter.

The Penn State engineer adds, "Our goal is to provide a small, light, easy- to -use and expendable tool that doesn't burden the rescuer with bulky, complicated equipment. "

The researchers described their measurements and findings in the current issue (January) of the Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. The authors are Gabrielson, Matthew Poese, doctoral candidate in acoustics, and Dr. Anthony Atchley, professor of acoustics and head of the Penn State Acoustics Program.

The Penn State team listened to and recorded signals Sept. 18 at the edge of the rubble pile on the northwest corner of the heavily damaged Bankers Trust building.

The researchers write, "These results support the strategy of lowering microphones into collapsed structures in addition to listening for survivor signals from the surface. Placing the microphone in voids in the collapsed structure reduces much of the surface-produced airborne noise."

The Office of Naval Research has provided continuing support for the development of acoustic systems at Penn State's Applied Research Laboratory (ARL) and the resulting ARL infrastructure made the team's acoustic survivor search effort possible.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Penn State. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Penn State. "Expendable Microphones May Help Locate Building Collapse Survivors." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 31 January 2003. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/01/030131080020.htm>.
Penn State. (2003, January 31). Expendable Microphones May Help Locate Building Collapse Survivors. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/01/030131080020.htm
Penn State. "Expendable Microphones May Help Locate Building Collapse Survivors." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/01/030131080020.htm (accessed July 24, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-Free Travel

Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-Free Travel

AP (July 23, 2014) 'Ray' the robotic parking valet at Dusseldorf Airport in Germany lets travelers to avoid the hassle of finding a parking spot before heading to the check-in desk. (July 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Boeing Ups Outlook on 52% Profit Jump

Boeing Ups Outlook on 52% Profit Jump

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 23, 2014) Commercial aircraft deliveries rose seven percent at Boeing, prompting the aerospace company to boost full-year profit guidance- though quarterly revenues missed analyst estimates. Bobbi Rebell reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Europe's Car Market on the Rebound?

Europe's Car Market on the Rebound?

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 23, 2014) Daimler kicks off a round of second-quarter earnings results from Europe's top carmakers with a healthy set of numbers - prompting hopes that stronger sales in Europe will counter weakness in emerging markets. Hayley Platt reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
9/11 Commission Members Warn of Terror "fatigue" Among American Public

9/11 Commission Members Warn of Terror "fatigue" Among American Public

Reuters - US Online Video (July 22, 2014) Ten years after releasing its initial report, members of the 9/11 Commission warn of the "waning sense of urgency" in combating terrorists attacks. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins