Sound power measurements of acoustic sources are typically performed in anechoic or reverberation chambers using acoustic pressure according to international standards. The anechoic chamber creates a free-field environment where the sound power is estimated from the squared pressure integrated over some enveloping surface. The reverberation chamber produces diffuse-field conditions, where sound power is proportional to the spatially averaged squared pressure. In semi-reverberant environments, the direct and reverberant energies each contribute to the total measured field. If the kinetic and potential components of acoustic energy density are weighted appropriately, the spatial variation of the field can be significantly reduced compared to squared pressure. This generalized energy density allows an adaptation of the sound power formulation by Hopkins and Stryker to be used to make an efficient and accurate in situ sound power estimate of a noise source in a non-ideal acoustical environment. Since generalized energy density optimizes the spatial uniformity of the field, fewer measurement positions are needed compared to traditional standards. However, this method breaks down for sources that are large and extended in nature and considerably underestimates the sound power. This thesis explores the practical limits of this method related to the sound power underestimation. It also seeks to understand the special considerations necessary to achieve accurate, survey-grade sound power data of large, extended noise sources through a laboratory study of custom extended and compact sources. A modified method to accurately and efficiently measure the sound power of large, extended sources is proposed with results.



College and Department

Physical and Mathematical Sciences; Physics and Astronomy



Date Submitted


Document Type





sound power, generalized energy density, semi-reverberant enclosure