Dynamap project

The project aims at developing a dynamic noise mapping system able to detect and represent in real time the acoustic impact of road infrastructure. Scope of the project is the European Directive 2002/49/EC (END) relating to the assessment and management of environmental noise. In particular, the project refers to the need for noise maps to be updated every five years, as stated in the END.

The updating of noise maps using a standard approach is time consuming and costly and has a significant impact on the financial statements of the authorities responsible for providing noise maps, such as road administrations and local or central authorities.

To facilitate the updating of noise maps and reduce their economic impact, noise mapping can be automated by developing an integrated system for data acquisition and processing, able to detect and report in real time the acoustic impact of noise sources. The system will be composed of low-cost sensors measuring the sound pressure levels emitted by the noise sources and of a software tool based on a GIS platform for real-time noise maps updating. While this approach seems quite promising in areas where noise sources are well identified, such as those close to main roads, in complex scenarios, such as in agglomerations, further consideration is needed to make the idea feasible.

In this project, two demonstrative systems will be designed and implemented along a major road (the large ring road in Rome, Italy) and in the agglomeration of Milan (Italy) to check and test the feasibility of updating noise maps in real time.

Project structure

The project will be accomplished through four main steps:

  1. development of low-cost sensors and tools for managing, processing and reporting real-time noise maps on a GIS platform
  2. design and implementation of two demonstrative systems in the cities of Milan and Rome. The first will cover a significant portion of the agglomeration of Milan, while the second will be located along a major road surrounding the city of Rome
  3. systems monitoring for at least one year to check criticalities and analyse problems and faults that might occur over the test period. The test results will then be used to suggest system upgrades and extend implementation to other environmental parameters
  4. provision of a guideline for the design and implementation of real-time noise mapping

These four steps will be implemented through 14 main actions:

2 PREPARATORY ACTIONS (A1-A2):

collecting information on the state of the art of real-time noise mapping, analysing the road networks and locating the areas where the demonstrative systems will be implemented, acquiring information on the pilot areas.

9 IMPLEMENTATION ACTIONS (B1-B9):

sizing the monitoring network, developing hardware and software, implementing and testing the system in the pilot areas, providing a guideline to real-time noise mapping.

3 MONITORING ACTIONS (C1-C3):

assessing public response and user ability in consulting and managing the system, evaluating costs and benefits, providing future visions on system applications.

Five more actions have been planned for dissemination and project management, including the arrangement of public events.

Actions will be accomplished by seven beneficiaries, among road administrations (ANAS, the Italian Road Administration), local authorities (Milan Municipality and AMAT), universities (University of Milan “Bicocca” and University of Barcelona “La Salle”) and private companies (ACCON and BLUE WAVE).

ANAS will lead the project, provide management skills and resources to implement the system on a major road, monitor public response and user ability in consulting and managing the system, in conjunction with AMAT and the Milan Municipality.

The MILAN MUNICIPALITY and AMAT will coordinate dissemination actions and provide resources to implement the system in the city of Milan.

The UNIVERSITIES OF MILAN and BARCELONA will mainly provide skills for sizing the monitoring network, developing processing algorithms, testing the system, and drawing up the guidelines.

BLUE WAVE and ACCON will provide skills in hardware and software development, and system installation and maintenance.

Expected Results

The project is expected to provide seven main deliverables:

  1. development of low cost sensors - The project includes the development of low-cost sensors to measure the noise levels generated by the sources included in the mapping areas
  2. development of a software tool for dynamic noise mapping - Data retrieved from sensors will be sent to a data management system, through a dedicated software application for real-time data management and processing.
  3. implementation of two demonstrative systems - The system will be installed and tested at two different sites: the first located within the agglomeration of Milan (Italy) and the second along a major road surrounding the city of Rome (Italy)
  4. test results of the systems - The system will be tested for one year in order to assess its reliability, detect and solve problems, determine its accuracy and calculate the uncertainty associated with noise maps
  5. system upgrade feasibility - The possibility of strengthening the system with applications for dynamic reporting of integrated environmental impacts (noise, air quality, meteorological conditions, etc.), will be analysed
  6. test results on public response and user ability in consulting and managing the system - The software tool will be structured with different data access levels assigned to authorised users. The tool will be tested to check public response and user ability in consulting and managing the system
  7. dissemination - The project will provide for an extensive dissemination campaign based on traditional and web communication channels, such as conferences, seminars, workshops, papers, a dedicated internet site, social networks, smart-device applications and fora