Hobbyist Project: Aircraft Sound Monitor

cml37

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May 19, 2019
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Has anyone created any cool hobbyist projects using Raspberry Pi? Would love to hear about it!

I recently completed a project that monitors aircraft noise using a sound level meter and microphone, and automatically submits complaints to my local airport. The catalyst for this project was a recent change in flight patterns from a nearby airport.

Some details:
* Communicates with a sound level meter (Gain Express SLM-25) using USB C++ libudev
* Java middle tier using Dropwizard framework
* Chromedriver with Selenium for auto submitting of complaint reports
* Sound samples and complaints reports stored in a Maria database
* ReactJS front end (see picture below) for controlling application, submitting reports, performing maintenance, etc.

This project started out on a Pi Zero, but things got bogged down quite a bit when I added Chromedriver capabilities into the mix.

I've also tried this project on a Tinkerboard, but the darn thing kept overheating and losing WiFi communication!
 

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cml37

Moderator
Staff member
May 19, 2019
125
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Washington, D.C. Area
That's freaking awesome! How is it submitting complaints? Via email or via a form on their website?

I of course am building an R2-D2 with a Pi: https://www.thegeekpub.com/236509/full-size-r2-d2-remote-control/
I've been following your R2-D2.. that looks super cool!!

For complaints submitting, I use Chromedriver and Selenium to fill in a form on their website. But I also do have capabilities in the program to send emails and text messages. It was a fun project, learned a heck of a lot doing it!
 

Ironnerd

New Member
Actually a very cool project.

I have to ask... Why file noise complaints for aircraft in the traffic pattern?
1. The complaints won't mean too much without a Registration number (unless you are going for overall noise level)
2. Planes are supposed to make noise in the traffic pattern - it's one of the reason for a traffic pattern. They keep the noise in one area. (that reads jerky, but I'm not being a jerk - seriously).

That being said, which airport? Looks like a busy one. I live next to a Air National Guard Base, and C-130's, F-16's, F-18's, F-22's, AH-1's, UH-60's, and even a few V-22's and T-38's go over my house at fewer than 1,000 ft all the time. I also have traffic form Atlanta Hartsfield and two buis-jet airports going over head all hours. But I'm a pilot and mechanic, so I like it.

You can also look at https://www.noisequest.psu.edu

One day the skies will quiet down again. Electric planes are coming, and some advances in gearboxes (of all things) are making jets much quieter.
 

cml37

Moderator
Staff member
May 19, 2019
125
33
28
Washington, D.C. Area
Actually a very cool project.

I have to ask... Why file noise complaints for aircraft in the traffic pattern?
1. The complaints won't mean too much without a Registration number (unless you are going for overall noise level)
2. Planes are supposed to make noise in the traffic pattern - it's one of the reason for a traffic pattern. They keep the noise in one area. (that reads jerky, but I'm not being a jerk - seriously).

That being said, which airport? Looks like a busy one. I live next to a Air National Guard Base, and C-130's, F-16's, F-18's, F-22's, AH-1's, UH-60's, and even a few V-22's and T-38's go over my house at fewer than 1,000 ft all the time. I also have traffic form Atlanta Hartsfield and two buis-jet airports going over head all hours. But I'm a pilot and mechanic, so I like it.

You can also look at https://www.noisequest.psu.edu

One day the skies will quiet down again. Electric planes are coming, and some advances in gearboxes (of all things) are making jets much quieter.
 

cml37

Moderator
Staff member
May 19, 2019
125
33
28
Washington, D.C. Area
The airport is Dulles Airport. All complaints are logged in my name. When I bought my house it was in a buffer zone. That's no longer the case. As for why I collect and submit, I think the answer there is that data tells a story and will help me with some future options.

Glad you enjoyed the project!
 

Ironnerd

New Member
It very well might help you one day. At any rate, it will make for some interesting data.

Would it be possible to link the high-noise instances to a flight tracking app? That would give the FAA a list of offenders (probably Delta since they still fly old, loud MD-90's).
 

Ironnerd

New Member
I can see that, and it makes sense to just gather noise data. And it does look like you are recording Dates and Times, which would help isolate the offenders.
In January of 2020, all aircraft flying into controlled airspace (like Dulles) will require ADS-B. And a Pi can be set up as an ADS-B receiver (for about $20). I'm not sure how much the Flightaware account costs though.
[LINK]

There is even a fairly active forum for people interested in this sort of thing
[LINK]

Could be an interesting side project. I am pondering it for my own plane.
 
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