ARMY AEROMEDICAL RESEARCH LAB FORT RUCKER AL FORT RUCKER United States
The Auditory Protection and Performance Division at the United States Army Aeromedical Research Laboratory currently maps sound environments using a tape measure. The limitations of five different models of ultrasonic rangefinders were examined to gauge the viability of improving the process through the use of these rangefinders. The performance at different angles of incidence 0 to 40 degrees at 0.5, 1.0, and 1.5 meters was investigated in locations with differing acoustical characteristics. Results from these tests suggested low accuracy performance with only 2.33 percent of the tests aligning with the actual distance. 86.67 percent of the tests exhibited significant differences in readings when examining the effect of angle of incidence. 100 percent of the tests exhibited significant differences with changes in location when examining the effect of room acoustics. These results suggest commercially available ultrasonic rangefinders are not an improvement, but there are a few limitations in the procedure that prevent this conclusion from being definitive.