An anechoic chamber (an-echoic meaning non-echoing or echo-free) is a room designed to stop reflections of either sound or electromagnetic waves. They are also insulated from exterior sources of noise. The combination of both aspects means they simulate a quiet open-space of infinite dimension, which is useful when exterior influences would otherwise give false results.
Anechoic chambers, a term coined by American acoustics expert Leo Beranek, were originally used in the context of acoustics (sound waves) to minimize the reflections of a room. More recently, rooms designed to reduce reflection and external noise in radio frequencies have been used to test antennas, radars, or electromagnetic interference.
Anechoic chambers range from small compartments the size of household microwave ovens to ones as large as aircraft hangars. The size of the chamber depends on the size of the objects to be tested and the frequency range of the signals used, although scale models can sometimes be used by testing at shorter wavelengths.
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