Research and Development
Acentech has a long history of conducting innovative research and development in the fields of acoustics and vibration. Many of our staff hold doctorate level degrees and have made significant contributions to their field. While various government agencies and programs, such as the U.S. Small Business Innovation Research and U.S. Small Business Technology Transfer programs, have sponsored many of Acentech’s R&D projects, we have also performed cutting edge R&D work for commercial clients.
One of our earliest R&D projects involved the development of unique methods to detect and diagnose problems in diesel engines using vibration. The techniques we developed were later applied to systems used to monitor the condition of motor-operated valves in nuclear power plants, and to monitor and adjust process conditions in manufacturing environments. Other R&D projects of which we are especially proud include the development of:
- A portable system that used acoustical signals to remotely map the geometry of caves and tunnels.
- An ultrasound-based method for determining bolt tension in petroleum piping junctions.
- A system that uses vibration to detect and locate machinery in a building – from the outside of the building.
- A novel high output transducer for use in an active noise reduction earplug.
- In-ear underwater earphones with minimal sound leakage into the surrounding water.
- A unique signal processing technique to adaptively control transient vibration in imaging satellites.
- Portable device for detecting and quantifying the severity of tinnitus.
Acentech also investigated and designed metamaterials for the acoustic “cloaking” of underwater vehicles, a noise cancellation device for improved speech intelligibility, and conducted a large-scale investigation of human sensitivity to ground borne rail vibration.
Expert Witness Services
Acentech’s specialized knowledge, broad experience and extensive credentials in many areas of acoustics, noise and vibration control, positions our consultants to represent clients confidently and credibly at public hearings and during mediation, arbitration and litigation. Our consultants pride themselves on researching, quantitatively assessing and understanding the physics of the conditions so that the critical concepts can be explained in a persuasive manner to adjudicators, juries, and laypeople.
Acentech collaborates with attorneys, insurers, developers, facility owners, municipalities and others in addressing complex acoustics, noise, vibration, and structural dynamics matters. We provide support to clients through assessment of existing conditions, forensic investigations, predictive modeling of future conditions, analyses of relevant noise control technologies, presentation of the technical aspects and professional opinions, and consultation of opposing parties’ proposals. Our consultants utilize sophisticated acoustics simulation technology called 3DListening to predict the acoustical conditions of proposed options and alternatives, and develop presentation materials to illustrate acoustical issues.
Our past expert witness experience includes support for claimants/plaintiffs, respondents/defendants, and neutral parties for public hearing issues. Acentech consultants have represented clients for issues relating to:
- Vibration and Structural Dynamics, including rail and rapid transit systems, facilities housing sensitive equipment, structural damage from vibration and intense sound, equipment malfunction, and hand injury from power tools.
- Environmental Noise, including electric generation stations, gas compressor and pumping stations, rail lines and highways, auto race tracks, shooting ranges, and performance and music venues.
- Acoustics, including analysis of recordings, hearing damage potential in industrial and music venues, audibility of warning sounds, intelligibility of announcements, acoustical privacy, and noise control of mechanical equipment.