Image: LEAF sound horn at ESA's Large European Acoustic Facility

Image: LEAF sound horn at ESA’s Large European Acoustic Facility
Credit: ESA – A. Le Floc'h

The largest sound horn feeding into ESA's Large European Acoustic Facility – seen here during its installation in 1990 – which is used to subject satellites to a noise level equivalent to a rocket launch.

LEAF is an integral part of ESA's ESTEC test centre in Noordwijk, the Netherlands, a collection of spaceflight simulation facilities under a single roof. One wall of the chamber – which stands 11 m wide, 9 m deep and 16.4 m high – is embedded with a set of enormous sound horns. Nitrogen shot through the horns can produce a range of noise up to more than 154 decibels, like standing close to multiple jets taking off.

As a safety feature, LEAF can operate only once all the doors are closed. Steel-reinforced concrete walls safely contain its noise, coated with epoxy resin to reflect to produce a uniform sound field within the chamber. The chamber itself is supported on rubber bearing pads to isolate it from its surroundings.


Explore further

A testing time for Galileo satellites headed to space

Citation: Image: LEAF sound horn at ESA's Large European Acoustic Facility (2016, March 3) retrieved 20 September 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2016-03-image-leaf-horn-esa-large.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
2 shares

Feedback to editors

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more