Projects Archives


Annoyance caused by wind turbine compared to road traffic noise
On behalf of FOEN listening tests are performed in collaboration with the Catholic University of Eichstätt-Ingolstadt (D) in which participants rate the annoyance caused by different acoustic situations of wind turbine and road traffic noise. With these tests, the (increased) noise annoyance caused by wind turbine compared to road traffic noise can be investigated and quantified. In addition, in a separate experiment special acoustic characteristics of wind turbines are investigated which can influence noise annoyance (e.g., amplitude modulation).

Contact: Beat Schäffer
Project funding: FOEN
Duration: 2014 - 2016

In the frame of the Eureka project Ecovehicle, methods to identify and promote environmentally friendly road and rail vehicles are developed together with foreign partners. The work of the Swiss project team: Empa labs Road Engineering / Sealing Components, Automotive Powertrain Technologies and Acoustics / Noise Control and Quantis is funded by Bafu, ASTRA and ARE.
Contact: Kurt Heutschi
Project partner: Empa, Road Engineering / Sealing Components Laboratory, Empa, Automotive Powertrain Technologies, Sciotech Projects, UK, TDC Systems, UK, SVUM, CZ, Kistler, CH
Project funding: FOEN
Duration: 2014 - 2017

On behalf of Bafu the existing road traffic noise emission model is updated. The model will fit to the properties of the new vehicle fleet and will allow for investigating in greater detail parameters that influence noise emission.
Contact: Kurt Heutschi
Project funding: FOEN
Duration: 2015 - 2017


Within the framework of the sonAIR project we are developing a new calculation model with which low-noise landing and take-off procedures can be computationally validated and acoustically optimized.
Contact: Jean Marc Wunderli
Project partner: n-Sphere, BeSB, SciTracks
Project funding: FOCA, FOEN, Canton of Zurich, airports Zurich and Geneva, skyguide
Duration: 2013 - 2016

Development and maintenance of the shooting noise model sonARMS.
Contact: Jean Marc Wunderli
Project funding: FOEN, Canton of Zurich, Canton of Graubünden
Duration: 2012 - 2016

In the Marie-Curie project SONORUS early stage researchers are educated as “Urban Sound Planers”. In the context of this project a tool to auralise aircraft noise will be developed.
Contact: Kurt Heutschi
Project partner: Chalmers Tekniska Högskola, Chalmers, Sweden, Eindhoven University of Technology, TUe, The Netherlands, Seconda Università degli Studi di Napoli, SUN, Italy, The University of Sheffield, USFD, UK, Ghent University, UGENT, Belgium, Müller-BBM, MBBM, Germany, The Italian National Institute for Environmental Protection and Research, ISPRA, Italy, SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden
Project funding: EU Marie Curie
Duration: 2012 - 2016

Automatic speaker recognition systems identify humans by their voice.
Contact: Ulrike Glavitsch
Project funding: Gebert Rüf Stiftung
Duration: 2014 - 2016

Shockwave propagation in urban environments
On behalf of armasuisse a model is developed to numerically simulate and predict explosions and the subsequent nonlinear shockwave propagation in urban environments. The simulations will form a basis to determine safety distances.
Contact: Kurt Heutschi
Project funding: armasuisse
Duration: 2014 - 2016

Traffic Noise Auralisator: Within the research project TAURA, a traffic noise auralisator will be developed that covers road traffic and railway noise. The key element is a synthesizer that simulates the acoustical emission of a great many of different vehicles, operating on a wide variety of surfaces and under different operating conditions. To obtain the corresponding steering parameters, a hierarchic synthesizer structure with core parameters and global parameters is proposed. Together with the simulation of sound propagation phenomena and a multi-channel reproduction system, complex traffic noise scenarios can be artificially generated and ultimately listened at.
Contact: Reto Pieren
Project funding: SNF
Duration: 2014 - 2016

PhD Thesis  “Direct and Flanking Transmission in Combined Heavyweight and Lightweight Structures“
The aim of this work is to significantly extend calculation techniques for determining sound transmission in wooden structures. This will allow the accuracy of predictions to be significantly increased in comparison to the current, unsatisfactory methods.
PhD Student: Claire Churchill
Supervisor: Prof. Carl Hopkins, Acoustics Research Unit, University of Liverpool


Investigation of low frequency building acoustic measurements in small rooms
Contact: Stefan Schoenwald
Project funding: BAFU

Investigation of ground vibration caused by railway-turnout interactions
Contact: Armin Zemp
Project funding: SBB

Noise emission model for parked trains
Contact: Barbara Locher
Project funding: BAFU, SBB

Optimizing PC-21 Noise Emissions
Contact: Beat Schäffer
Project funding: armasuisse

VisAsim - Visual-Acoustics Simulation for landscape impact assessment of wind farms
Contact: Kurt Heutschi, Reto Pieren
Project partner: ETH Zürich, PLUS (Projektleitung)
Project funding: SNF


Acoustic Panel System
Each architecture constitutes acoustic resonances. Although this is an important factor in the perception of architectural spaces, it is not properly regarded in the planning process. Generally, this leads to belated “acoustic cosmetics”, which are applied on finished architectures.
This project therefore investigates the possibilities offered by the use of digital design tools and robot based fabrication methods to implement acoustical needs at an early stage into the designprocess of a flexible panelsystem which therefore can be individually adapted to different locations and their specific needs.
Contact: Kurt Eggenschwiler
Project partner: Gramazio & Kohler, Architektur und Digitale Fabrikation, ETH Zürich (Projektleitung), REHAU Vertriebs AG, Jürgen Strauss
Project funding: KTI

ASTRA-Projekt: Nächtliche Immissionsprognosen von Strassenlärm (Hochleistungsstrassen)
Contact: Kurt Heutschi
Project partner: B + S Ingenieur AG
Project funding: ASTRA

Sound-Absorbing, Transparent and Lightweight Acoustic Textiles
The team of Annette Douglas, Weisbrod-Zürrer AG und Empa have succeeded for the first time in developing translucent, lightweight curtains which are also sound absorbing. The drapes, which have been created as part of a CTI sponsored project, are excellent absorbers of noise and can be used in a wide range of applications. Until now only heavy, opaque curtains were capable of absorbing high levels of noise – light, translucent curtains usable for this purpose did not exist. Annette Douglas, a successful designer and winner of many awards, recognized this gap in the market and launched a CTI-supported project together with the innovative textile company Weisbrod-Zürrer AG and Empa (in both St. Gallen und Duebendorf). The aim was to develop translucent, light, non-flammable curtains which would satisfy very high design requirements whilst simultaneously offering good sound absorbing characteristics. The Acoustics / Noise Reduction Laboratory developed a mathematical model which mapped both the microscopic pattern of the textile as well as its macroscopic structure. With the help of a large number of acoustic measurements taken on woven samples purpose-made by Weisbrod-Zürrer, a requirement profile for the acoustic optimization of the textiles was determined. Annette Douglas succeeded in transforming these new results into actual textile samples, following which Weisbrod-Zürrer AG were able to optimize their production processes to allow the required properties to be integrated into textiles manufactured on an industrial scale. The range of sound absorbing materials available has now been extended to include a product which has long been on everyone's "wish list". The new, light, transparent sound absorbing curtains are now on the market and will, in future, help to provide significantly better acoustics in innumerable rooms.
Contact: Kurt Eggenschwiler, Reto Pieren
Project partner: Annette Douglas Textiles AG, Weisbrod-Zürrer
Project funding: KTI


A new method of measuring walking noise on floors
To date in order to evaluate walking noise on a laminated floor the sound of a lady walking on it was directly measured. The aim of the project was to develop a measurement technique which did not require the use of a human subject and also avoided the disadvantage of the ISO tapping machine. A suitable method has been developed and this is been validated by means of a survey. Finally a novel impacting device has been developed which operates very quietly.


Study on the effects of church bells on sleep quality (together with ETH Zurich):
Brink, M., S. Omlin, C. Müller, R. Pieren, and M. Basner, 2011. An event-related analysis of awakening reactions due to nocturnal church bell noise. Science of the Total Environment 409, 5210-5220.

Shooting noise study to establish a scientific basis for Annex 9 of the Noise Abatement Ordinance (together with ETH Zurich)
Brink, M. and J.M. Wunderli, 2010. A field study of the exposure-annoyance relationship of military shooting noise. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 127, 2301-2311.

Development of the calculation model sonRAIL on behalf of the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN)