Validation of the aircraft noise simulation model sonAIR
Validation of the aircraft noise simulation model sonAIR based on measurement data, which was not used in the model development. To that purpose also measurement data from external partners will be used. In addition some open issues of the initial project phase will be studied in more detail.  
Contact: Jean Marc Wunderli
Partner: Swiss International Airlines, DLR, TU Delft
Project funding: FOCA
Duration: 2017 – 2018

Estimation of flight parameters based on radar data
Besides position, orientation and speed, the sonAIR sound source models also needs information on thrust setting and configuration as input parameters. However this information is generally not available. Therefore methods shall be developed on how to estimate aircraft mass, thrust setting and configuration based on radar data. On that basis the range of applications of sonAIR can be substantially extended and will allow to calculate entire airport scenarios in the future.
Contact: Jean Marc Wunderli
Partner: Swiss International Airlines
Project funding: FOCA
Duration: 2017 – 2018

Development and operation of a monitoring system for aircraft noise for the specific demands of sonAIR
In this project a mobile monitoring system together with an automized analysis system shall be developed with the goal of regularly updating the emission database of sonAIR. The monitoring system shall then be used to derive sound source models for recently introduced and modified aircraft types of Swiss International Airlines, such as Bombardier C-Series, Boeing B777 and the modified Airbus A320-family.
Contact: Jean Marc Wunderli
Partner: Swiss International Airlines
Project funding: FOCA
Duration: 2017 – 2019

IDeAL (Impact Driven Assessment of novel Low-noise aircraft concepts) Pilot study
The goal of the IDeAL project is to optimize novel low-noise aircraft concepts and alternative flight procedures with respect to human perception and annoyance.  
The simulation and development of aircraft concepts and flight procedures is done by the German Aerospace Centre (DLR). Its results provide the necessary inputs for auralizations done by Empa. Based on listening tests perceived loudness and annoyance shall be evaluated and used as a feedback-loop to optimize the design. In this pilot study a proof of concept, an identification of open research questions as well as an assessment of the existing optimization potential shall be accomplished.
Contact: Jean Marc Wunderli
Project partners: DLR
Project funding: Bafu
Duration: 2017 – 2018



ARTEM - Aircraft noise Reduction Technologies and related Environmental iMpact
With ARTEM (Aircraft noise Reduction Technologies and related Environmental iMpact), seven EREA members and strategic partners have teamed up with leading European universities and major entities of the European aerospace industry in order to address the technology challenges raised in the call MG-1-2-2017 “Reducing aviation noise”. ARTEM aims at the maturing of promising novel concepts and methods which are directly coupled to new low noise and disruptive 2035 and 2050 aircraft configurations. A core topic of ARTEM is the development of innovative technologies for the reduction of aircraft noise at the source. The approach chosen moves beyond the reduction of isolated sources as pure fan or landing gear noise and addresses the interaction of various components and sources - which often contributes significantly to the overall noise emission of the aircraft. Secondly, ARTEM addresses innovative concepts for the efficient damping of engine noise and other sources by the investigation of dissipative surface materials and liners. The chosen technology concepts offer the chance to overcome shortcomings (as the narrow band absorption peak or poor low-frequency performance) of current devices. The tasks proposed will mature, and subsequently down select these technologies by comparative testing in a single relevant test setup. Furthermore, noise shielding potential for future aircraft configurations will be investigated. The noise reduction technologies will be coupled to the modelling of future aircraft configurations as the blended wing body (BWB) and other innovative concepts with integrated engines and distributed electrical propulsion. The impact of those new configurations with low noise technology will be assessed in several ways including industry tools, airport scenario predictions, and auralization. Thereby, ARTEM constitutes a holistic approach for noise reduction for future aircrafts and provides enablers for the expected further increase of air traffic.
Contact: Jean Marc Wunderli
Project partners: DLR, AEDS, Airbus, CIRA, CNRS, Comoti, Dassault, EC Lyon, EPFL, ONERA, INCAS, PPS, RRD, SAE, SOTON, TSAGI, TUBS, TUDelft, UBristol, UCP, URoma3, VKI
Project funding: EU – Horizon 2020
Duration: 2017 – 2021

TraNQuIL - Transportation Noise: Quantitative Methods for Investigating Acute and Long term health effects
The overall aim of TraNQuIL is to obtain a thorough understanding on how transportation noise affects human health. In particular, the following research questions will be addressed:

  1. How relevant is eventfulness of noise and duration of quiet phases between events for cardiovascular mortality, and adolescents’ cognitive performance, behaviour and quality of life?
  2. How crucial is noise exposure at different times during day and night for these outcomes?
  3. How relevant is noise exposure at home vs. school for adolescents’ cognitive performance, behaviour and quality of life?
  4. Are noise induced cardiovascular risks reversible after noise exposure reduction? If yes, what is the relevant time scale?
  5. Do noise events trigger an acute cardiovascular death?

Research will be based on the existing Swiss National Cohort (SNC) and adolescent HERMES cohort study. Nationwide models for road, railway and aircraft traffic noise as well as NO2 exposure at each address in Switzerland for 2001 and 2011 will be individually linked to study participants. For HERMES participants, a longitudinal analysis will be conducted to evaluate the effects of noise exposure at school and home on changes in cognitive function, behaviour and health related quality of life within one year of follow-up. Full residential history available after 2010 for the SNC will be used to elucidate the effects of a sudden change of exposure on cardiovascular mortality. A case-crossover analysis on the triggering effects of aircraft noise on acute coronary events in the population around Zürich airport will be conducted, taking advantage of the daily distribution and variation of noise exposure which is heavily influenced by meteorological conditions.
Contact: Beat Schäffer
Project partners: Swiss TPH
Project funding: Swiss National Science Foundation
Duration: 2017 – 2021

Noise Protection in Wooden Buildings
Complaints about noise intrusion from neighboring dwellings, especially from people walking, are still a major problem in multi-family wooden buildings.  The goal of the project “Noise Protection in Wooden Buildings” lead by Lignum and in collaboration with Empa and the Bern University of Applied Sciences is to improve acoustic comfort in modern multi-family wooden buildings in Switzerland by generating knowledge on the airborne and impact sound insulation and disseminating it for the engineers and planers.  The role of Empa’s Laboratory of Acoustics/Noise Control within this project is the experimental investigation of sound transmission through building elements and in mock-ups of typical Swiss wooden buildings in the lightweight construction sound transmission research platform and the analysis of the data. Further, Empa post-processes the data for the use as input data for engineering models for the prediction and optimization of airborne and impact sound insulation. Empa derived simplified engineering models from prediction models for heavy construction, such as concrete and masonry that are well established in Europe. These models can be applied by practitioners and engi-neers already in the stage of design of wooden buildings. The project is funded by the “Aktionsplan Holz” of the Swiss Federal Office of the Environment (FOEN) and a consortium of industry partners.
Contact: Stefan Schoenwald
Project partners: Lignum, BFH-AHB, Industriepartner
Project funding: Lignum
Duration: 2016 – 2018

Under the umbrella of the European Shift2Rail initiative to support research and innovation in rail product solutions, the project DESTINATE aims to develop tools and methodologies for railway noise simulation and cost-benefit analysis of mitigation actions of interior and exterior noise. Empa is involved in the auralisation and visualization of noise mitigation measures with the goal to more accurately predict peoples response to exterior noise from a residents perspective and to interior noise from a passengers perspective.
Contact: Kurt Heutschi
Project partners: Technische Universität Berlin (Coordinator), TUB, Germany, Politechnika Poznańska, PUT, Poland, University of Newcastle upon Tyne, UNEW, UK, Müller-BBM GmbH, MBBM, Germany, Sound Advice in Technology, Innovation and Strategy, SATIS, The Netherlands, Stadler Rail Valencia, STAV, Spain, Netherlands Aerospace Centre, NLR, The Netherlands
Project funding: EU Horizon 2020
Duration: 2016-2018

In the SiRENE project a nationwide assessment of road, railway and aircraft noise exposure was conducted and a socio-acoustic study with 5600 participants was performed. SIAS is a follow-up study in which interviews with about 100 participants of the SiRENE study are carried out at their homes to elucidate – among others – the role of open windows for the well-being of the inhabitants. On that occasion on the one hand short-term measurements are performed to determine the inside-outside level difference for different window positions (closed, tilted, open). On the other hand sound-level meters are flush mounted on the outer face of the closed window to record A-weighted equivalent sound pressure levels in a temporal resolution of 1 s during one week. The first measurements are used to establish a model for inside-outside level differences, the second to validate the exposure modelling of SiRENE.
Contact: Jean Marc Wunderli
Project partner: Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, Basel; n-Sphere, Zürich.Project funding: FOEN
Duration: 2016 - 2017

Listening tests to assess the annoyance of helicopter noise compared to wing-mounted propeller driven aircraft
Listening tests are performed in the lab to determine the annoyance rating of helicopters and wing-mounted propeller driven aircraft in different procedures (take-off, landing, cruise). On this basis a source-specific level correction relative to the A-weighted sound exposure level (LAE) shall be deduced for small aircraft.
Contact: Beat Schäffer
Project funding: FOEN
Duration: 2016 - 2017

Coating of freight wagons for noise mitigation
The goal of this project is to assess the effectiveness of a coating applied to freight wagons for noise mitigation. Besides the sensitivity of the coating material to wear, the impact on the vibratory response of the silo before and after coating as well as the reduction of the noise emission during loading and draining of gravel are experimentally investigated.
Contact: Armin Zemp
Project Partner: Josef Meyer Rail
Project Funding: FOEN
Duration: 2016 - 2017

The Sound of Brass: The Materiality, acoustics and history of brass instruments, based on the example of historically informed replica of German trombones
How were early brass instruments constructed, and of what? If we build copies using historic manufacturing techniques, what impact does this have on their playing characteristics and their sound? And can we measure this?
Many questions on the materiality and the production technology of historical brass instruments remain unanswered today. This project is intended to use reconstructions of the legendary German trombones of the 19th and early 20th centuries to reacquire the techniques of historical craftsmen. The acousticians of Empa are investigating their influence on the playing characteristics and on the radiated sound. The reconstructions of German orchestral trombones built in the course of this applied research will ultimately be presented in concert.
Contact: Armin Zemp
Project Funding: CTI
Duration: 2015–2018

The goal of the project OST is the development of tool to simulate railway rolling noise. The different steps from the excitation mechanisms to vibration propagation to sound radiation and propagation shall be modelled as close to physics as possible. The tool shall be used in a later step to develop acoustically optimized track constructions. The project is financed by FOEN and FOT and is conducted in collaboration with the technical universities of Berlin and Munich.
Contact: Jean Marc Wunderli
Project partner: TU Berlin, TU München
Project funding: BAV, FOEN
Duration: 2015 - 2017


Participation in the interdisciplinary project SiRENE (Short and Long Term Effects of Traffic Noise Exposure), which investigates acute, short- and long-term effects of road, railway and aircraft noise exposure on annoyance, sleep disturbances and cardiometabolic risk. SiRENE is funded by SNF-Sinergia and is supported by the Federal Noise Abatement Commission EKLB as well as the Federal Office for the Environment FOEN.
Contact: Jean Marc Wunderli
Project partner: Uni Basel, Swiss TPH, n-Sphere, FOEN
Project funding: SNF, FOEN
Duration: 2013 - 2016