SoundPLAN - Noise Maps - Grid / Facade / Meshed Module
SoundPLAN is a noise planning tool with the capabilities to either analyze single receiver locations to infinite depth or to calculate and present noise maps. A description of the dry facts of the tabular alphanumerical documentation is available under Tools / Documentation / Interfaces. This section offers a glimpse of the noise maps. In principle SoundPLAN offers 3 types of noise maps, the Façade Noise Map, the Grid Noise Mapand the Meshed Map.
The Façade Noise Mapplaces and calculates receivers along the façades of buildings. Receivers can be placed every floor with either a fixed number of receivers per façade or a set spacing between them. From the building the receivers are attached to the receivers 'know' the type of building, the status of the noise control and the number of inhabitants per building / floor. This Façade Noise Map is a great tool for noise planning as it directly allows statistics and graphics to be generated from a single calculation. The entire building can be painted in the maximum noise level found anywhere on the outside, facades can be marked if they exceed the allowable noise limit, individual receivers can indicate an infringement of the limits by using different symbols below / above the limit. The Façade Noise Maplike any other noise map in SoundPLAN allows to be displayed as a regular map projected on the floor plan or as a rendered 3D model.
The Grid Noise Mapcomes in two variants, as a horizontal map (Grid Noise Maps) where the receivers follow the terrain or in the vertical format as Cross-sectional Noise Map. Spacing of receivers and height above the ground are user selectable. There is no size limit for Grid Noise Maps, however as SoundPLAN can load an unlimited number of Grid Noise Maps into each sheet, it is probably wise to partition the Grid Noise maps for very big areas. Grid Noise Maps have a whole gambit of output options to generate contour lines and smooth them or to leave the grid in place and show the values or have the grid painted in a fluid scale.Cross-sectional Noise Mapsare noise maps that start at the terrain and reach to a user selected height, again the receiver spacing us user defined. This mapping option is very user friendly allowing the calculation to be interrupted and resume later on or to calculate a new grid or to re-calculate only part of the grid. If the single PC with multi threaded calculation proves to take too long for the job, with Distributed Computing (DC description is under Tools) the application is scalable to the need of the user.
The Meshed Mapis similar to the Grid Noise Mapas it is a mapping option to follow the terrain horizontally but instead of having a fixed grid of receivers, the receivers are located on the nodes of a mesh. The Meshed Maphas two prime applications. The first is to calculate the noise in cities with very narrow streets. In order to obtain sensible contour lines, the grid spacing needs to be narrow thus creating a huge file and causing long calculation times. TheMeshed Maphelps by generating more receivers where it is needed (around sources and obstacles) and having a thinner base mesh. This way the density of calculated receivers is higher where the noise levels are changing rapidly and less receivers for the rest. TheMeshed Maphas proved it self invaluable in the noise mapping cities with small streets.
The second strong point of the Meshed Mapis its capability to store more information than just the noise levels for day, evening and night. Calculate aMeshed Maponce and display multiple maps depicting singular frequencies or frequency bands. This particular feature is specially helpful for industrial noise control where it is often necessary to document a noise mapfrequency by frequency.
All noise mapping modules can calculate very large maps, however sometimes it is sensible to subdivide noise maps into smaller units (a km x km for example) (Tiling is described under the Noise Mapping Toolbox) and join multiple map files in the graphics. Maps that generate contours will produce contour lines without seams as if only a single map was loaded. For most options it is also possible to do simple arithmetic with noise maps covering the same area, for example adding noise maps for road noise to the one with railway noise or to find the change in noise levels between planning variants.
To make it easier for the user the noise maps allow the interruption of the calculation with a later resume without having to redo what was already calculated. Likewise it is possible to recalculate only parts of a noise map, for example if locally some elevations were wrong. To get the most out of the program, the calculation core is designed to work with threads that allow the parallel execution of calculations so that the processor is used by 100%. If this is not enough, the module for Distributed Computing allows the distribution of the calculation intensive noise maps amongst as many PCs as the user wishes to use. One module with a fixed price for as many calculation slaves as desired.