Astronautical Hygiene - Humans in Space - Noise


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Fans, compressors, motors, transformers, pumps etc. on the International Space Station (ISS) all generate considerable noise. As more equipment is required on the space station, then more noise will be generated.

The Russian space program has never given a high priority to the noise levels experienced by its cosmonauts (e.g. on Mir the noise levels reached 70 - 72 dB. But they were exceeded as new components were brought on board. Such noise levels may cause a temporary reduction in hearing but not a full hearing loss. This could result in hazard warning alarms not being heard against the background noise. To reduce the noise risks NASA engineers are building hardware with inbuilt noise reduction. A depressurized pump producing 100 dB can have the noise levels reduced to 60 dB by fitting four isolation mounts. For future space programs it is essential that the noise levels are reduced. The use of hearing protectors are not encouraged because they block out alarm signals. More research is necessary in this field as well as in other astronautical hygiene areas e.g. measures to reduce the risks of exposure to radiation, methods to create artificial gravity, more sensitive sensors to monitor hazardous substances, improved life support systems and more toxicological data on the Martian and lunar dust hazards.

Read more about this topic:  Astronautical Hygiene, Humans in Space

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Famous quotes containing the word noise:

    Places where he might live and die and never hear of the United States, which make such a noise in the world,—never hear of America, so called from the name of a European gentleman.
    Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862)

    You may say a cat uses good grammar. Well, a cat does—but you let a cat get excited once; you let a cat get to pulling fur with another cat on a shed, nights, and you’ll hear grammar that will give you the lockjaw. Ignorant people think it’s the noise which fighting cats make that is so aggravating, but it ain’t so; it’s the sickening grammar they use.
    Mark Twain [Samuel Langhorne Clemens] (1835–1910)

    Let there be no noise made, my gentle friends,
    Unless some dull and favorable hand
    Will whisper music to my weary spirit.
    William Shakespeare (1564–1616)