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Italian City Installs Audio Warning System with Community Loudspeakers


Marghera City, in the province of Venice, Italy, has recently had an audio warning system installed utilising Community loudspeakers.

The proximity of the industrial port Marghera to the residential Marghera City has been a subject of concern and even legal action for decades. The Servizio di Protezione Civile of the City of Venice has now implemented the provision of an acoustic alarm system for the residents of the neighbouring city.

The Consorzio Venezia Ricerche (CVR, Venice Research Consortium) was tasked with the design of the system and defining and managing the various installation stages.

The CVR established a Marghera Acoustical Warning System Task Force, consisting of internal staff and specialised professionals. The installation was managed by Sofitel from Treviso, while the acoustic simulation activities were carried out in full within the CVR.

The Task Force included Marco Ferrari for the architecture of the communication system and Gianluca Sorbara for the electrical aspects, coordinated by the acoustic and electro-acoustic expert Umberto Nicolao, who also managed the overall design.
 
The system, designed by Nicolao, utilised the water tower of Marghera, one of the highest buildings available, as a central ‘acoustic lighthouse’. The tower is fitted with thirty Community PC1542M loudspeakers with M4 drivers, covering a precise 220 degrees horizontal.

Critical coverage angles were calculated and implemented to avoid nearby ‘Cita skyscrapers’ from excessive SPL. In addition to the central tower, and to create an acoustic umbrella of typically higher than 75 dB over the city, Nicolao designed five additional sub-locations each using four Community RSH462 loudspeakers.
 
A Biamp Vocia system VA8600 system controls the audio network and automated monitoring, while AM600C power modules drive the Community loudspeaker systems.
 
Building on and adapting the extensive acoustic transmission and perception work carried out on the Venice system, the warning tones of the system have been finely tuned to give appropriate warnings without creating undue alarm.

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