Predicting the sound field from aeroacoustic sources on moving vehicles Towards an improved urban environment

University dissertation from Stockholm : KTH Royal Institute of Technology

Abstract: In a society where environmental noise is becoming a major health and economical concern, sound emissions are an increasingly critical design factor for vehicle manufacturers. With about a quarter of the European population living close to roads with heavy traffic, traffic noise in urban landscapes has to be addressed first. The current introduction of electric vehicles on the market and the need for sound systems to alert their presence is causing a shift in mentalities requiring engineering methods that will have to treat noise management problems from a broader perspective. That in which noise emissions need not only be considered as a by-product of the design but as an integrated part of it. Developing more sustainable ground transportation will require a better understanding of the sound field emitted in various realistic operating conditions, beyond the current requirements set by the standard pass-by test, which is performed in a free-field. A key aspect to improve this understanding is the development of efficient numerical tools to predict the generation and propagation of sound from moving vehicles.In the present thesis, a methodology is proposed aimed at evaluating the pass-by sound field generated by vehicle acoustic sources in a simplified urban environment, with a focus on flow sound sources. Although it can be argued that the aerodynamic noise is still a minor component of the total emitted noise in urban driving conditions, this share will certainly increase in the near future with the introduction of quiet electric engines and more noise-efficient tyres on the market.This work presents a complete modelling of the problem from sound generation to sound propagation and pass-by analysis in three steps. Firstly, computation of the flow around the geometry of interest; secondly, extraction of the sound sources generated by the flow, and thirdly, propagation of the sound generated by the moving sources to observers including reflections and scattering by nearby surfaces. In the first step, the flow is solved using compressible detached-eddy simulations. The identification of the sound sources in the second step is performed using direct numerical beamforming with linear programming deconvolution, with the phased array pressure data being extracted from the flow simulations. The outcome of this step is a set of uncorrelated monopole sources. Step three uses this set as input to a propagation method based on a point-to-point moving source Green's function and a modified Kirchhoff integral under the Kirchhoff approximation to compute reflections on built surfaces. The methodology is demonstrated on the example of the aeroacoustic noise generated by a NACA air inlet moving in a simplified urban setting. Using this methodology gives insights on the sound generating mechanisms, on the source characteristics and on the sound field generated by the sources when moving in a simplified urban environment.

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