The Environmental Protection Department uses acoustic camera to locate fixed noise source
- Promotion of I&T Adoption in the Government
- Environmental Protection Department
In the complex environment with many high-rise buildings in Hong Kong, noise is often of multiple types and sources, and it is never easy to quickly identify the target noise being complained about. In the past, investigating complex cases of industrial and commercial noise sources, such as the noise from chillers, radiators, ventilation fans or pumps, often required several teams of investigators to search for multiple days.
In the middle of 2020, the Environmental Protection Department (EPD) introduced an innovative portable "acoustic camera", which was the first to be used to investigate industrial and commercial noise. From the different colours displayed on the screen of the acoustic camera, the operators can "see" and locate the noisiest sources at a glance! It was particularly useful in locating the major noise sources in complicated environments, dark conditions and situations with multiple noise sources. The so-called "pictures have the truth" makes it convenient for all relevant stakeholders to understand the fact and follow up.
Since the introduction of the portable "acoustic camera" in 2021, investigators of the EPD have successfully handled about 90 complaints about complicated industrial and commercial noises. Now, the efficiency of related investigations has been greatly improved. Generally, it only takes two investigators to deploy the "acoustic camera" to shoot for a while to locate the unknown noise source, with savings of approximately more than 2 man-days per case compared with the conventional “on-off” testing method.
portable acoustic camera
improve investigation efficiency
reduce manpower requirement
Exploration should be encouraged, and time is really needed for colleagues to explore and test the advanced equipment. A lesson is learnt as the time spent on research and development is worthwhile as the smart equipment can greatly reduce the time of investigation and better serve the community by locating the industrial and commercial noise sources promptly to tackle the nuisance.