The Open University's Acoustics Research Group has been in existence for over thirty years, carrying out internationally leading research in the fields of environmental acoustics, musical acoustics and the development of acoustical measurement techniques.

Environmental Acoustics

Environmental acoustics research carried out by the group includes work on improving the prediction of sound propagation outdoors, producing more effective noise barriers, increasing understanding of acoustic-to-seismic coupling mechanisms, and measuring the acoustic impedance of porous materials.

Musical Acoustics

Musical acoustics research topics include investigating the effect of wall vibrations on the playing characteristics of brass instruments, analysing the importance of the bassoon crook to the instrument’s playing properties, monitoring the result of the bending of instrument leadpipes during the manufacturing process, and making bore profile and input impedance measurements on woodwind and brass instruments.

Non-invasive Techniques

The group also carries out work on developing and improving non-invasive techniques for measuring the acoustic impedance, impulse response and internal geometry of ducts such as musical wind instruments, airways and pipeline sections. Such techniques include acoustic pulse reflectometry, a Two-Microphone-Four-Calibration impedance measurement procedure, and capillary-based impedance measurement methods.

Full details about the research carried out by the group can be found on the Acoustics Research Group webpages.