Computer modelling of sound fields in bounded spatial systems; extension of the ray method to curved surfaces
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This paper investigates computer simulation of sound fields in acoustical environments. All the contemporary acoustical computer models represent the room to be modelled as a series of flat or planar surfaces. Generally these surfaces must have many edge vertices but must be contained in a single plane. That means that curved walls are required to be represented by a finite number of flat planar segments. The quality of the overall simulation process is directly related to file three dimensional geometrical and acoustical model and obviously the restriction of flat surface representation is a negative factor. Further the use of a large number of planar surfaces to represent a curved wall is inefficient, since as the number of surfaces increases the number of calculations also increases. A computer model based on the ray method is suggested that is able to predict the acoustic environment of closed or partially closed spaces and to tolerate curved boundaries without approximating them into a series of flat surfaces as contemporary models do. Note that in buildings with curved walls there are often serious problems with speech intelligibility and the appreciation of music. The main applications of the proposed computer model are in relation to churches with domes, indoor sports halls with curved ceilings and generally any large enclosure of any particular geometry. Predicted results are compared with theoretical calculations and experimental measurements.