Tremble at the sight of this huge sound horn inside the Large European Acoustic Facility (LEAF). It's an ESA-built device that subjects satellites to the same levels of noise produced by rockets as they take off and fly through the atmosphere.
Located in Noordwijk, Netherlands, and part of ESA's ESTEDC Test Center, it's one of several spaceflight simulation facilities.
One wall of the sound chamber, which stands 36 feet (11 m) wide by 30 feet (9 m) deep and 54 feet (16.4 m) high, is equipped with a set of enormous sound horns. The nitrogen that's shot through the horns can produce a range of noise up to more than 154 decibels — which is as loud as multiple jets taking off.
To ensure safety, LEAF only works when all the doors are closed. The room has steel-reinforced concrete walls to contain the noise. The walls are also coated with an epoxy resin to reflect noise, producing a uniform sound field within the chamber.
[ ESA ]