Airbus and Southampton University set up new research centre to identify aircraft noise reduction solutions
Testing in the Southampton wind tunnel
Mon 10 Nov 2008 – A new research centre, the Airbus Noise Technology Centre, has been formally launched at the University of Southampton’s School of Engineering Sciences (SES). The university has a long history of conducting research into all aspects of aircraft noise and for many years has collaborated with Airbus on a range of noise research and development projects.
The Centre’s immediate goal is to work towards the target set by the Advisory Council for Aeronautical Research in Europe (ACARE) in which perceived noise is to be cut in half by 2020 and to eliminate noise nuisance outside airport boundaries. According to the SES, this requires a doubling of the previous rate of progress, necessitating advanced research and development across a range of new technologies.
“By combining the talents of engineers at Airbus and the University, we are certain that significant progress can be made in this important area,” commented Professor Bill Wakeham, University of Southampton Vice-Chancellor.
Pierre Lempereur of Airbus France added: “We are confident that this Centre will provide Airbus with enhanced access to technology innovation and support from world-class skills, experience and tools needed to develop solutions to cope with the challenging objectives Airbus has set for aircraft noise impact mitigation.”
The Centre, led by Professor Xin Zhang, will bring together academic staff, research fellows and PhD students, and will use state-of-the-art computer simulations and wind tunnel testing to develop new noise reduction concepts. The research team will be aided by undergraduate students, providing an opportunity to stimulate the next generation of engineers.
Experimental facilities at the University include a range of wind tunnels for aerodynamic and acoustic measurements, including a large closed jet wind tunnel and an open jet anechoic chamber. The Centre adopts advanced techniques such as Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV) for aerodynamic measurements, and phased microphone array for acoustic source mapping.
A high-order computational aeroacoustics program called SotonCAA has also been developed, which the Centre says is at the forefront of numerical noise prediction technology.