SoundPLAN Info #7.2                       January 2013

Dear SoundPLAN users and future users,

It's time for another information newsletter to help you become more proficient with SoundPLAN, create better investigation models, and get results more quickly. This newsletter's focus is

SoundPLAN 7.2

What is new and how to get to it

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SoundPLAN is a living software organism, so it evolves over time. A team of 5 software developers and several others involved in important tasks from testing to writing handbooks to delivering hotline support work continuously on improving the boundaries of what can be accomplished with SoundPLAN and SoundPLAN essential.

Be more productive with the new SoundPLAN 7.2!

Previous SoundPLAN Info Issues

SoundPLAN Info #1 in PDF format

SoundPLAN Info #2 in PDF format

SoundPLAN Info #3 in PDF format

SoundPLAN Info #4 in PDF format

SoundPLAN Info #5 in PDF format

SoundPLAN Info #6 in PDF format


Small improvements everywhere!

Overview of new developments in SP7.2

The objective of SoundPLAN 7.2 was improving the handling for small and big projects. Some of the developments are described in this document, but not all. There are too many small improvements that make your work life easier or permit handling ever bigger amounts of data. As only the highlights are described later, here is a list of some of the smaller improvements:

  • Support for huge tiled DGMs => no limit in the size of projects even with the 32 bit version.

  • Generate elevation data off line for tile sizes of 10x10 km.

  • Dynamic Tiling decide any time how big the areas are that are loaded into memory.

  • Greater flexibility with the entry of road geometry. Graphically move coordinates for multiple lanes.

  • New color administration in the Graphics.

  • Improvements of the alignment and embankment tools in the Geo-Database.

  • Changes of the structure lines in the SoundPLAN Spreadsheet.

  • Free definition of the emissions for the NMPB2008

  • Improvement of the visualization of data in the Geo-Database (gray band of the asphalt band; input direction)

  • Automatic detection of valley bridges in the DGM in the Geo-Database.

  • Generation of elevation contour lines from an existing DGM in the Geo-Database.

  • Simplify buildings to

  • Google Earth => Get Terrain Points to take 65x65 data points from Google Earth.

More flexibility in licensing the software

SoundPLAN can be downloaded from the web ( as a demo version which allows you to experience the functionality of SoundPLAN using projects delivered with the software. If you would like to create your own projects and work with the data you create, try our provisional licenses for SoundPLAN or SoundPLAN-essential. Contact your distributor if you want to experience this one time offer for free for a limited time.

SoundPLAN is available as a stand alone version and as a network license for up to 50 users on a company network. The SoundPLAN 7.2 network license offers a borrow function where a license can be detached from the network temporarily  so you can work while traveling or in other situations where you would not be able to log on to the normal network to open SoundPLAN. Here's how it works.

Borrow from the Bank!

If you have a SoundPLAN network license with the borrow function, you do not have to be tethered to the network in order to use SoundPLAN.  You can "borrow" a license and work off line for a period of time. When the "borrow time" expires, the license defaults back to the network pool. This feature is specially developed for engineers who need to work independently from their network. If work is completed early, simply return the "borrowed license" and it is again available to others. The prerequisite to this "borrow" function is to have a network license (red HASP key) and the special function of detachable licenses we call the borrow function as part of the license setup.

Aircraft Noise now with the ECAC 29/3.

Like in road and railway noise where a lot of countries have specific regulations, the aircraft noise modeling has developed into an array of standards. SoundPLAN now supports the following regulations:

  • AzB 1975 in various formats

  • AzB 2008-07

  • DIN 45684-1:2011-04

  • Swiss Aircraft Noise Calculation

  • ÖAL 24 - 1-2004

  • ECAC Doc 29 2nd Edition 

  • ECAC Doc 29 3rd Edition

The ECAC Doc 29/3 is also the basis of the US INM.

INM is a trade mark of the US Government.

Data entry for aircraft noise now fully integrated into the Geo-database

The data entry for aircraft noise has migrated to the Geo-Database where you have the advantage of Situations and Geo-Files to structure aircraft noise projects. This also means the different 2D and 3D view options built into the Geo-Database are available.

Along with modeling flyingcommercial aircraft, it is possible to model military aircraft, helicopters and even the noise caused by aircraft on the ground by taxiing and from auxilliary power units that deliver electricity and air conditioning to aircraft. With the industrial and road traffic model, it is now possible to make a full evaluation of an airport's noise signature, including air conditionning, baggage handling, ground operations, engine run-up, traffic and parking lot noise.

Calculations of single receivers within the Geo-database

For most projects. the structure of SoundPLAN is optimal. First, the model is built, then the calculations are done and the results are prepared. Each of the steps has its specialized tools. Sometimes, however, it would be nice to know during the generation of the model what noise levels can be expected at a specific location without storing all data and using the "normal" procedures. The abiliy to calculate noise levels directly would be helpful to make the decision if the model already covers the full area or if additional geometry needs to be inserted.

With SoundPLAN 7.2, the calculation is now available directly from the GeoDatabase. See the additional tab in the receiver properties.

Pre-Flight error checking

A new menu item allows users to check the consistency of the data while the situation is open in the Geo-Database. Selecting Preflight will load the data into the calculation core and thus perform all error and warning tests normally performed when the situation is loaded for calculations.

An error and warning protocol is available in the Help menu. When opening this protocol, all warnings and errors are listed. By double clicking on one of the entries, the object opens and can be corrected. The protocol file is seen to the left; for a real life project, most of the items are related to the geometry of buildings and roads.



BA-Facade now with ISO 12354

Building Acoustics Facade is set up to calculate the weighted noise reduction index of a facade that is subjected to noise from the outside. For a single facade, this can be accomplished easily in an Excel spreadsheet, but if the project is a mile of road and all buildings along this stretch of road are to be evaluated, it becomes more a management tool than a purely acoustics calculation.

SoundPLAN has now implemented the single frequency evaluation of the ISO 12354 . The tool takes the values from SoundPLAN´s single point sound and Facade Noise calculations as a noise level outside, presets the noise limits in accordance to the zoning of the building, and allows the user to define multiple facades for a room with multiple construction elements with different Rw values. The program then calculates the cumulative Rw and the noise level inside the room.


Get Google Earth terrain points

Google Earth allows users to get terrain points (elevations) in a grid of 65x65 coordinates. The area is the same as what can be loaded as a background bitmap. If no other reliable sources of elevation information is available, this Google Earth service is of great help.

The picture to the left depicts a 65x65 field of coordinates taken from Google Earth.

One word of caution about this service: The elevations are derived from a Google internal DGM where a SoundPLAN user has no information about the number of coordinates in the area. Sharp terrain edges, etc., will not be represented correctly with these coordinates.


New organization for calculation runs

In SoundPLAN, every project can administer and control an unlimited number of calculation runs. As the settings for the calculation are hosted in a table, all parameters for a calculation run are saved and can be used to understand how the results were generated or to repeat calculations if some of the data changes.

In the past, the user could generate any number of calculation runs which sometimes led to confusion where the calculation was started. In SoundPLAN 7.2, all calculations are in a single table but have the ability to form groups to organize multiple calculations.

Calculation runs can also be locked to prevent them from being re-executed.

New detail plan in the Graphics

SoundPLAN has automated the generation of multiple plans. The graphic top left shows a road project where multiple plans follow the route of the road studied. Each partial plan has a unique location and rotation angle.

Below that, you see a noise map for a big city with a grid pattern superimposed on it. For each square, you can produce a detailed plan with an overview plan in the legend and the detail as the main object on the canvas.

After either of these is created - the individual frame by frame or the grid square pattern - SoundPLAN can completely automate the drawing and export of the plans.





This graphic shows an overview in the legend and the plan for the marked, hatched detail.


New Update procedures

SoundPLAN 7.2 is a new revision and must be installed as a "new" program. After installing, you can look for updates with the newest features or minor corrections any time during the warranty or update-maintenance period. The new update procedure for SP7.2 not only allows you to update to the latest version of the program but also to download and install new System Files and Demo projects.

To the left you see the dialog to get new libraries, manuals, help files, etc.. The files are downloaded and can be installed directly.

Distributed updates, the facility to download the update once and then distribute it in a network of users, is another great tool worth mentioning. Keep the entire team up to date!


How to get SoundPLAN version 7.2

When a SoundPLAN license is purchased, all updates are free for one year! Get a DVD from your distributor or download the program from the web. The license file covers every new license for one year.

After the first year, our distributors offer update and maintenance packages for 15% of the module price for current licenses. A surcharge applies for older licenses. With on-going service, the latest version of SoundPLAN is free of charge.

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