NASA Researcher Develops Model that Could Quiet Down Noisy Helicopters

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Image source: NASA

Image source: NASA

If we live in a comparatively well-populated area, you’ve substantially gifted it — a shrill whop-whop-whop of a helicopter drifting overhead, adding unwelcome pole to a family cooking or pacific travel in a park.

Eric Greenwood, a investigate aerospace operative during NASA Langley, is graphic here in one of a center's mobile acoustic labs, in that he and other researchers can control margin studies of rotorcraft noise. Credits: NASA/David C. Bowman

Eric Greenwood, a investigate aerospace operative during NASA Langley, is graphic here in one of a center’s mobile acoustic labs, in that he and other researchers can control margin studies of rotorcraft noise. Credits: NASA/David C. Bowman

But in metropolises like Los Angeles and New York, where news, police, medical and sightseeing helicopters mostly confusion a sky, it’s spin a critical problem.

“People in those communities are apropos so angry by a helicopter overflight sound that they’re looking into internal regulations and restricting a kinds of helicopter operations that can be finished in those areas,” pronounced Eric Greenwood, a investigate aerospace operative during NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia.

Residents in both those cities (and others — we can supplement San Francisco, Las Vegas, Chicago, Washington D.C. and Boston to a list) competence be relieved to hear that a NASA Langley researcher is on a case.

Greenwood, who specializes in rotorcraft research, has grown a process he calls Fundamental Rotorcraft Acoustic Modeling for Experiments, or FRAME, that could shortly assistance revoke some of that pesky, cryptic helicopter noise.

FRAME works by bringing together dual pivotal elements: researchers’ elementary bargain of a production of rotorcraft sound and existent sound information from moody tests and breeze hovel measurements.

By tuning that bottom production believe to a existent exam data, Greenwood is means to predict, with accuracy, where sound will spin a problem in untested — or even untestable — moody scenarios.

“With a required displaying that we’ve been regulating so distant we unequivocally are usually means to take a information we collect and replay accurately those same conditions,” he said. “[FRAME] lets we generalize sound information you’ve collected to any other arrange of handling conditions.”

Greenwood recently presented a paper during a American Helicopter Society International’s 71st Annual Forum and Technology Display that compared his FRAME predictions with sound information he and some colleagues collected during helicopter moody tests in 2011 during Eglin Air Force Base in Florida’s panhandle.

In 2011, Eric Greenwood trafficked to Eglin Air Force Base in Florida's swindle to collect sound information from a array of moody tests of a Bell 430 helicopter. Pictured, from left, are Bell Helicopter's Royce Snider, NASA Langley's Mike Watts and Greenwood. Credits: NASA

In 2011, Eric Greenwood trafficked to Eglin Air Force Base in Florida’s swindle to collect sound information from a array of moody tests of a Bell 430 helicopter. Pictured, from left, are Bell Helicopter’s Royce Snider, NASA Langley’s Mike Watts and Greenwood. Credits: NASA

The moody exam information and a FRAME predictions had “very good agreement,” according to Greenwood. “We were means to uncover that a outcome of scheme sound could be as most as a 10 decibel change relations to what happens to a helicopter in solid flight.”

To a normal tellurian ear, that 10-decibel change would sound twice as loud.

The particular sound a helicopter creates is a outcome of a materialisation called blade-vortex interaction. When a helicopter’s rotor blade hits a arise spiral shaped by a blade in front of it, it causes that pulsing, whop-whop-whop sound.

With FRAME giving researchers a ability to envision when and where that sound will spin an issue, Greenwood believes residents in cities like Los Angeles and New York could be on a verge of removing a small service from a noise.

“Now that we have a indication that works,” he said, “our wish for a nearby destiny is to be means to use this indication to come adult with superintendence for helicopter pilots and operators as to how they can fly some-more quietly.”

It could be as elementary as carrying a commander govern a right spin in a proceed that produces reduction noise.

“There are opposite ways we competence be means to do that right turn,” Greenwood said. “You could accelerate when we go into that turn. You could stand as we turn.”

As one competence imagine, Greenwood’s investigate has snagged a seductiveness of a military, too. The same moody adjustments that would revoke sound complaints in Las Vegas could assistance an Army helicopter make a quieter proceed into a fraudulent terrain situation.

Whether a focus is municipal or military, Greenwood imagines his investigate could open a doorway to a destiny where helicopters have built-in, computerized superintendence controls.

“Imagine if we had a helicopter where if I’m about to go into a shrill place, a hang army get a small stronger,” he said. “I’m still a commander in command. we can do whatever we want, though it’s giving me a pointed poke toward a quieter direction.”

It’s a destiny a noise-weary New Yorker would substantially adore to see come to fruition.

Source: NASA