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The Uses and Abuses of the Acoustic Analogy in Helicopter Rotor Noise Prediction

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This paper is theoretical in nature and addresses applications of the acoustic analogy in helicopter rotor noise prediction. It is argued that in many instances the acoustic analogy has not been used with care in rotor noise studies. By this it is meant that approximate or inappropriate formulations have been used. By considering various mechanisms of noise generation, such abuses are identified and the remedy is suggested. The mechanisms discussed are thickness, loading, quadrupole, and blade‐vortex interaction noise. The quadrupole term of the Ffowes Williams‐Hawkings equation is written in a new form which separates the contributions of regions of high gradients such as shack surfaces. It is shown by order of magnitude studies that such regions are capable of producing noise with the same directivity as the thickness noise. The inclusion of this part of quadrupole sources in current acoustic codes is quite practical. Some of the dificulties with the use of loading noise formulations of the first author in predictions of blade‐vortex interaction noise are discussed. It appears that there is a need for development of new theoretical results based on the acoustic analogy in this area. Because of the impulsive character of the blade surface pressure, a time scale of integration different from that used in loading and thickness computations must be used in a computer code for prediction of blade‐vortex interaction noise.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, Va.

Publication date: 1988-01-01

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  • The Journal of the American Helicopter Society is the world's only scientific journal dedicated to vertical flight technology. It is a peer-reviewed technical journal published quarterly by AHS International and presents innovative papers covering the state-of-the-art in all disciplines of rotorcraft design, research and development. (Please note that AHS members receive significant discounts on articles and subscriptions.)

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