M. S. ML04-5/T37, Digital Equipment Corp., 146 Main St., Maynard, MA 01754-2581
Development of the acoustics laboratory at Digital Equipment Corporation began in late 1970's. The goal was laboratory capabilities to support noise control engineering as part of computer product engineering. Technical and business requirements were identified and validated. Labs in other industries were visited. The best space available in the plant to construct the lab was at ground level, requiring a tight-fit design, then excavation, blasting, and innovative materials handling during construction. Absorption adjustments in the 200 cubic meter reverberant room and draw-away tests in the hemianechoic room resulted in qualification to ISO 3742 and ISO 3745, respectively; and chamber background levels have been quite acceptable. Instrumentation, computer tools, and lab practices have been continually enhanced since then for component and product data acquisition, diagnostics, data basing, reporting, product design computation and consultation, and installation noise prediction. The lab continues to achieve its objectives today in this competitive and rapidly evolving industry.