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The Story: Saltholm

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In the early 1960s there were plans of building a new large-scale airport on the island of Saltholm between Denmark and Sweden. The concept of environmental noise was something new on the politicians’ agenda, and therefore the matter had to be investigated further before commencing the project.

DELTA’s acoustics team was assigned to measure and calculate the aircraft noise and possible noise issues for the local area. An F86 Sabre jet fighter was sailed to Saltholm where its afterburner was used as a source of noise for the measurement program.

At the time, no one knew how aircraft noise propagated over water. The surprising result of DELTA measurements showed that noise skips across the surface of the water, significantly amplifying the sound compared to over land.

The experiments established that the area along the coast of Amager would receive large amounts of noise from the airport, and the airport project was scrapped.

However, the project was not in vain. DELTA’s measurements form the basis for the simulation models and methods used internationally today to calculate sound propagation over water.

Today, DELTA continues to work with measurement of and consulting about aircraft noise and regularly makes noise measurements e.g. for Copenhagen Airport and the Swedish company Swedavia (in Danish).

Read more here (in Danish).

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