According to the World Health Organization (WHO) noise pollution is the third most hazardous environmental type of pollution after air and water pollution and researchers always face problems while noise monitoring. To solve these kind of issues researchers from Council of Scientific and Industrial Research-National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (CSIR-NEERI), Nagpur, have developed a unique Noise Tracker Application (App) to measure the real-time noise level using android smartphones.
Noise Tracker App has two important functions Noise Monitoring and Data Entry options. It has a feature of Noise Monitoring that allows the users to record the noise levels at any point of time. The app can measure and display the minimum, maximum and average decibel levels. With this it has ability that by using Global Positioning System (GPS) utility of smartphone it can locate the geographic location of the noise source.
The data handling and management of field data comprise of keeping records of GPS locations, noting noise levels for sites, putting comments for false reading etc. “As commercial Noise meters are mostly not as user-friendly as smartphones are. The App data management utility option manages the data along with geographic locations very efficiently and can be instantly shared with various options such as email, WhatsApp etc. In this section the user can calculate the insertion loss for any proposed barrier to curb noise pollution” told Dr Satish Lokhande, Sr. Technical officer, NEERI.
The app has another feature called ‘Map it’. Once field monitoring is over with this feature one can generate study map of the site. It will show all the tagged locations along with noise levels and permissible limits.
Once the app is downloaded in the smart phone it uses GPS that can find the user’s location and the mobile microphone record noise levels in the surroundings and display on the mobile screen. The user can record noise levels for various locations in the city and can view the data in a tabular form as well as it can be visualized with the help of a map.
“Within the period of two months the App has shown significant performance by having 1000+ downloads and not only in India but it has been downloaded in several other countries like the USA, China, Italy, Australia and many more. It has shown 4.9 Google rating. We are in the process of filing copy right for this app” said Dr Lokhande. He also told that there is also a plan to initiate work on work on introducing same Noise Tracker App for iOS platform for iPhone mobile users.
Besides common public this App may be useful for the officials from organisations such as state pollution control boards and other private environmental consultancy service provider for noise data management. Manthan Kolhe and Mohindra Jain are two other members of the team who worked for development of this app.(India Science Wire)