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:: Monday, October 20, 2008 ::


The world's most powerful loudspeaker, the WAS-3000, at Wyle Laboratories acoustic test facility.

"The WAS-3000 is no spring chicken. It was built back in 1967 and remains, as far as anyone knows, the most powerful loudspeaker ever built, able to generate sound pressure levels up to 165 dB with just a single modulator. No, it wasn't designed to blast Buffalo Springfield or Procol Harum (which would not sound like music at all at that level), but rather to do acoustic wave testing on equipment via a "linearly controllable electro-pneumatic noise source." (What would you test with such a speaker? In part, it's been used to test whether jet engines and space shuttle components will fall apart when exposed to extreme noise and the vibrations that go along with them. It was built originally to simulate noise from the Saturn V launch.)" [yahoo]

A space shuttle taking off generates 150 dB. It is more than loud. It is outright dangerous. "That large bath of water coming down the side of the main engine when it launches is not for cooling, which is what most people think," explains Rich McKinley, an acoustics expert at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton, Ohio. "It is to break up the acoustic waves so they don't damage the shuttle." [Popular Mechanics]

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:: Dan 20.10.08 [Arc] [0 comments] [links to this post] ::
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