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Appl Acoust. 2018 Oct;139:93-100. doi: 10.1016/j.apacoust.2018.04.019.

Acoustic source localization with microphone arrays for remote noise monitoring in an Intensive Care Unit.

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Institute of Sound and Vibration Research, University of Southampton, University Rd, Southampton SO17 1BJ, United Kingdom.
Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences, Level 6, West Wing, John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford OX3 9DU, United Kingdom.


An approach is described to apply spatial filtering with microphone arrays to localize acoustic sources in an Intensive Care Unit (ICU). This is done to obtain more detailed information about disturbing noise sources in the ICU with the ultimate goal of facilitating the reduction of the overall background noise level, which could potentially improve the patients' experience and reduce the time needed for recovery. This paper gives a practical description of the system, including the audio hardware setup as well as the design choices for the microphone arrays. Additionally, the necessary signal processing steps required to produce meaningful data are explained, focusing on a novel clustering approach that enables an automatic evaluation of the spatial filtering results. This approach allows the data to be presented to the nursing staff in a way that enables them to act on the results produced by the system.


Intensive Care Unit; Microphone arrays; Noise source localization

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