A contribution to the investigation of acoustic interferences in aircraft distributed propulsion

Sébastien Guérin, Damiano Tormen

Publikation: Beitrag in FachzeitschriftArtikelBegutachtung


The objective of this work is to better understand the acoustic interferences created by distributed propulsion engines based on an approach that combines RANS simulation results for the aerodynamic prediction and analytical models to calculate acoustics. A multi-propeller configuration without wing is considered for this investigation. The propeller geometry and the operating conditions are realistic for a regional transport airplane. In the first part of the paper, the results obtained by two different and independent prediction methods are compared. One method is well-established and serves as validation for the second, low-order method, which is better suited for design-to-noise applications since it requires less details as input and is computationally faster by several orders of magnitude. The good agreement between both methods, obtained for a single propeller as well as for the distributed propeller configuration, is exploited in the second part of the paper to investigate the role of acoustic interferences. Taking acoustic interferences into account drastically affects the directivity of the tonal emission. Compared to the results obtained by considering the propellers as if they were uncorrelated, the far-field sound pressure levels can be significantly lower at the radiation nodes or amplified up to the theoretical limit of 9 dB calculated for eight propellers. The directivity patterns depend on the relative initial angular positions of the propellers. When these positions are randomly varied according to the uniform probability density distribution model, the mean result (expectation) is the same as if the propellers were considered as uncorrelated. Finally, the results show that the probability that the acoustic level is lower than the mean value is higher than 50% because of the positive skewness of the probability distribution of the resulting pressure amplitude. Even though the propeller–propeller and propeller–wing interactions were not considered, the essence of the findings is expected to remain valid for more complex configurations because those interactions are rotor phase-locked.
FachzeitschriftCEAS Aeronautical Journal
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 20 Sept. 2023

Research Field

  • Hybrid Electric Aircraft Technologies


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