“Quantum Outdoor is going to improve so many businesses’ environmental impact management.”: noise measurement expert Craig Storey on the newest remote environmental monitoring solution from Cirrus Research

Cirrus Research is excited to announce the launch of its newest remote environmental monitoring system: Quantum Outdoor. Built with cloud connectivity at its heart, Quantum Outdoor promises to make remote environmental monitoring more straightforward and accessible than ever before. Capable of measuring environmental noise, weather, gases and particulates, and ground vibration, Quantum Outdoor is a comprehensive solution for businesses and organisations to get the full picture of their environmental impact.

To mark its launch, I sat down with Craig Storey, one of Cirrus Research’s in-house acoustic experts, to understand more about the problems that Quantum Outdoor will solve and the journey up to this point.

Thank you so much for taking the time to speak to me, Craig. Everyone at Cirrus Research is really excited by the launch of the new Quantum Outdoor remote environmental monitor. Tell me how you came to be involved with the project.

No problem, Clarke. You’re right: it’s a very exciting time for Cirrus Research. Quantum Outdoor is unlike any other instrument we’ve launched before. It’s going to really improve the way people keep track of their environmental impact. But, more on that later! It’s an interesting question you ask about how I got involved with the project. A couple of years ago, I was contacted by a famous London theatre that needed to keep a constant eye on their noise levels at several locations within the venue during different performances. We worked together to develop a bespoke solution that has since evolved into Quantum Outdoor.

That’s fascinating. So, Quantum Outdoor started life as an indoor noise monitor. What made Quantum suitable for the theatre? Why not use one of Cirrus Research’s existing noise measurement instruments?

Like I’ve said, Quantum isn’t like anything we’ve offered before. It’s based entirely around cloud connectivity, rather than being an optional feature like it is with our Environmental Noise Measurement Kit. For the theatre, the solution needed to be something that, once we installed it, could be left alone to do its job. As I’m sure you can imagine, climbing up rigging or scaffolding with a sound level meter isn’t exactly ideal, let alone safe. So, the ability for people to access live and historical noise data from the comfort of their desk on their computer or phone was a real game changer.

The map view on the Quantum Portal showing mutiliple Quantum Outdoor remote environmental monitoring units.
Multiple Quantum Outdoor units can be linked to a single network, where their readings can be accessed wherever they are.

I’m glad you mentioned the cloud because it features heavily in all the promotional material for the Quantum Outdoor. Can you tell me a bit more about why cloud connectivity is so important?

Having cloud connectivity makes accessing your noise data infinitely more manageable. It doesn’t matter where you are, what time of day it is or whether you’re at your computer or not. It’s really easy and simple to log in to the Quantum Portal on any device with an internet connection and get instant access to all of your noise data. It’s especially helpful for viewing live data, as each Quantum monitor sends all its readings directly to the Portal via the cloud, so you can see what’s happening in real time. That’s important for businesses that have strict limits imposed on them as they can respond quickly and make any adjustments they need to to bring the noise levels down.

That makes sense. But doesn’t that mean that someone has to be there to monitor the live data constantly? Or else, how will anyone know if they need to check in on their noise levels?

That’s a great question. Having someone constantly monitoring the live noise levels isn’t practical or very exciting! So, we’ve made it so that users can get notified when the noise reaches preset levels. People can get notifications on their phones or by email, so they’re always aware of what’s going on without needing to be glued to their screens. The other great thing we can do with the Quantum remote environmental monitoring system is capture an audio recording whenever one of these triggers is set off.

What would an audio recording of the noise level provide? Surely, if the noise level is high enough to trigger an alert, that should be enough?

Not at all! Audio recordings are very useful as they can help you identify the source of the noise. Imagine you’re the owner of a factory in a residential area, and you get an alert for a high noise level. With the audio recording, you can hear that it was caused by a loud car driving past and was actually nothing to do with your factory. With that level of information, you can make more targeted and effective decisions on any remedial action you need to take. Without the audio recording to identify where the noise came from, you’d have no idea what to do to prevent it from happening again. You may also end up wasting money on a solution for a problem that doesn’t exist! Audio is also beneficial for businesses when defending against a noise complaint, as they can use the evidence to disprove their liability. Of course, it works both ways, though!

It really sounds as though Quantum has everything someone could need to manage their noise levels. What can someone do with their historical data other than just view it in the Quantum Portal?

Yeah, great question. As you’ve said, the Quantum Portal lets people access their live and historical data and view it in all levels of detail. But users can also generate noise measurement reports directly from the Quantum Portal and give them to management to back-up decisions they want to make regarding remedial action. But we’re all about flexibility at Cirrus Research, so we’ve made it possible for people to export their data from the Quantum Portal either into our own software, NoiseTools, or to a spreadsheet file format.

The weather data screen as part of the Quantum Outdoor remote environmental monitoring system.
Comprehensive weather data is also available with Quantum Outdoor, providing crucial context for noise measurement readings.

We’ve talked about how Quantum Outdoor can help businesses manage their noise levels. But tell me more about the other features of the system.

So, Quantum Outdoor is our first fully integrated remote environmental monitoring system. That means that you have one system that measures multiple things. Quantum Outdoor can measure weather; wind speed and direction; air quality, in terms of gases and particulates; and ground vibration. As with noise, all this data is sent directly to the Quantum Portal via its cloud connectivity, where you view it, analyse it and generate reports. The great thing about the way Quantum displays this data is that you can view it alongside all your noise data, giving you much more context and understanding of what’s happening. If there’s a spike in noise levels and wind speed that coincide, you can assume that the wind is responsible rather than something else.

So, Quantum Outdoor is more than just a noise monitor; it monitors all the parameters that a business or organisation could need to get a complete picture of their environmental impact. I’m sure there are other systems out there that do something similar. So, what makes Quantum Outdoor unique?

It’s fair to say that we’re not the first company to introduce a system that measures more than just one thing. But I’d say there are a few key things that make Quantum stand out from other remote environmental monitoring systems on the market. The first is the System Integrity Check, where the Quantum Outdoor will run a scan on itself to assess how accurately it’s measuring. Usually, that sort of thing needs someone to perform a manual calibration, but it becomes almost impossible if you have a monitor installed in a location that’s hard to access. The SiC overcomes that challenge and makes it so much easier to check the health of your system.

The second thing is that users can adjust their subscription level whenever they want. They can add or remove functionality depending on their needs without being tied into a long contract period. Quantum offers complete flexibility for its users, which is difficult to find with other similar systems. Lastly, I’d say the biggest thing that makes Quantum Outdoor stand out from its competition is the fact that it’s been designed and built by Cirrus Research. You might be thinking, “well, of course, you’d say that”, but there’s a reason we’ve been a market leader for as long as we have. We have more than 50 years’ experience; we’ve continually innovated new technologies to improve the way people measure noise and made it easier for them to protect people and the environment, and our customer service is unrivalled in the industry. You only have to look at our reviews to know that! I honestly believe that Quantum Outdoor will improve so many businesses’ environmental impact management. I can’t wait to talk to even more people about how it could benefit them.

You can check out Quantum Outdoor for yourself completely free of charge by accessing the Demo Portal. Quantum Outdoor is now available to purchase from Cirrus Research. Contact a member of our sales team to find out more.

Clarke Roberts

Senior Marketing Executive at Cirrus Research plc
Clarke is a Senior Marketing Executive and is responsible for helping people to find Cirrus Research's innovative noise measurement solutions by using all aspects of the marketing mix.

He particularly enjoys writing content about product applications, including noise nuisance, occupational noise and environmental noise pollution.