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Thursday, July 11 • 10:40 - 11:00

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In 1995, Steen Krarup Jensen and Jakob Freud-Magnus invented the asphaltophone (also known as a "musical road"). This musical instrument is composed of a 1) road with a specially designed surface topology and 2) a vehicle. To play the instrument, a vehicle is driven across the road at a particular speed; the surface topology of the road causes the vehicle to vibrate at particular frequencies. Since its initial installation in Denmark, many other asphaltophones have been installed around the world. All of these installations use an equally sized ridge or asphalt cut, followed by gaps of various widths. It should be noted that the ridge or asphalt cut is equally sized because of fabrication constraints (e.g., asphalt cutter's blade width or road strip width). The gap width plus the equally sized ridge (or cut) equals the desired wavelength, which generates the predominant frequency of the asphaltophone. Previous asphaltophones focused on generating the desired frequency, without consideration of the signal-to-noise ratio of the produced note. As the surface topology of an asphaltophone is composed of sharp impulses, the signal-to-noise ratio can be low. In the presented work, the authors explore several different asphaltophone profile designs. By employing numerical simulations of a reduced order model, the signal-to-noise ratio for these profiles is found using Mathematica. Taking into consideration fabrication constraints and ease-of-installation, the best asphaltophone profile design was tested experimentally at Auburn University's National Center for Asphalt Technology (NCAT). The experiment was fabricated using an adhesive asphalt tape, which was laser cut to the specified profile.


Delphine Chadefaux

Dr, Université Paris 13, Sorbonne Paris Cité, Institut de Biomécanique Humaine Georges Charpak (EA 4494), Paris, France


Thursday July 11, 2019 10:40 - 11:00 EDT
Westmount 5
  T14 Musical acoustic, RS01 Musical ac