Experimental characterization of noise radiation from a ducted propeller of an unmanned aerial vehicle

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Abstract

Ducted propellers are an interesting design choice for unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) concepts due to a potential increase of the propeller efficiency. In such designs, it is commonly assumed that introducing the duct also results in an overall noise reduction. The objective of this work is to experimentally analyze and quantify noise of a ducted propeller suitable to be installed on a medium size UAV (wingspan 5–10 m). A microphone array is used for recording the noise levels at each microphone position and used collectively to localize noise sources with beamforming. Different types of noise sources are considered (an omni-directional source and a propeller). In addition, the effect of the presence of an incoming airflow is assessed. With no incoming airflow, it is found that the duct significantly modifies the noise radiation both in the frequency and the spatial domain. With an incoming airflow, the effect of the duct on the frequency content of the signal is almost eliminated. The fact that for this case the harmonics become lower results in a reduction of the received noise levels. Also the directivity changes. These insights are of importance in efforts towards modeling the effects of ducts for complex noise sources such as propellers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)372-391
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal of Aeroacoustics
Volume18
Issue number4-5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Keywords

  • beamforming
  • Ducted propeller
  • microphone array
  • noise reduction
  • thrust correction
  • UAV

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