Excessive amounts of acoustic noise pose a health risk to a majority of the population and this is the most signicant single cause of hearing loss in Australia. For example, the increasing noise at public spaces like train stations, airports, and construction sites are only increasing with the increasing population and urbanization. The most common method is to use passive control, i.e., sound absorbing material such as noise walls, to reduce the noise level. However, this method is very costly and not practical in complicated environments, especially when dealing with low-frequency noise, such as noise from machinery and industry plants and noise generated by automobiles/aircrafts. Therefore, active noise control (ANC) is fast becoming a favored method of noise cancellation.
This project aims to advance fundamental research in active noise control over spatial regions. It focuses on developing new theories and techniques to generate multiple quiet zones in indoor/outdoor noisy environments with performance prediction, robust control, and effective implementation. Outcomes of the project also include implementation of the multi-zone noise cancellation system in the lab environment for demonstration. In many practical applications, especially in consumer electronics and medical instruments, the creation of quiet zones is desirable so that in a shared environment people can have their own audio space without physical isolation or using headphones, creating a healthy living and working environment (e.g., quiet pods in airports/train stations/restaurants, individual quiet zones inside automobiles/airplanes etc.).