Methods are considered for the indirect determination of the mobility of structure-borne sound sources. Instead of performing measurements on the source in the free state, the source mobility is obtained from measurements made in-situ. This approach is beneficial if the source is difficult to suspend, or if it contains nonlinear structural elements. Two formulations for an indirect source mobility are derived theoretically. The first requires measurement of velocities at or near to the contact points. The second involves measurement of remote velocities only. Neither of the methods requires excitation at the contacts in the coupled state. Numerical simulations of coupled beams are used to validate the two methods and investigate their accuracy and reliability with respect to typical measurement errors, such as background noise and inaccuracies in sensor positioning. It is found that these can have a significant effect on the methods considered. Several experimental case studies with single-contact and multi-contact sources are performed. The results confirm the validity of the two methods in principle, but highlight their sensitivity to experimental errors. In a representative case study with a fan unit, average errors range between ±5 dB and ±10 dB, with occasional errors of up to 30 dB.
Journal of Sound and Vibration344 (26 May 2015): 38–58.