Small-Scale Rotor Aeroacoustics for Drone Propulsion: A Review of Noise Sources and Control Strategies

Paolo Candeloro, D. Ragni, Tiziano Pagliaroli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
130 Downloads (Pure)


In the last decade, the drone market has grown rapidly for both civil and military purposes. Due to their versatility, the demand for drones is constantly increasing, with several industrial players joining the venture to transfer urban mobility to the air. This has exacerbated the problem of noise pollution, mainly due to the relatively lower altitude of these vehicles and the proximity of their routes to extremely densely populated areas. In particular, both the aerodynamic and aeroacoustic optimization of the propulsive system and of its interaction with the airframe are key aspects of unmanned aerial vehicle design that can signify the success or the failure of their mission. The industrial challenge involves finding the best performance in terms of loading, efficiency and weight, and, at the same time, the most silent configuration. For these reasons, research has focused on an initial localization of the noise sources and, on further analysis, of the noise generation mechanism, focusing particularly on directivity and scattering. The aim of the present study is to review the noise source mechanisms and the state-of-the-art control strategies, available in the literature, for its suppression, focusing especially on the fluid-dynamic aspects of low Reynolds numbers of the propulsive system and on the interaction of the propulsive system flow with the airframe.
Original languageEnglish
Article number279
Number of pages23
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • drones
  • aerodynamics
  • aeroacoustics
  • rotor noise
  • airframe noise
  • porous material


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