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The University of Southampton
Engineering

Research project: Aeroacoustics Characterisation of Contra-rotating Propellers

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Electric-powered Vertical Take-Off and Landing (eVTOL) systems are experiencing unprecedented growth as we work towards Urban Air Mobility with the introduction of air taxis and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). These systems typically comprise multiple rotors in various configurations in order to carry higher payloads. Noise is one of the main factors that limit their public acceptability. This is mainly because there are likely to be a number of different source mechanisms and the balance between these sources vary for different contra-rotating configurations. One of the dominant noise source is the unsteady flow generated from the upstream propeller interacts with downstream propellers in contra-rotating configuration.

This 3.5 year PhD studentship aimed at an experimental investigation into characterising this interaction noise source. In this project, extensive noise and aerodynamic measurements such thrust and torque will be performed. Several complementary flow velocity measurement techniques such as Hot-wire Anemometry and Particle Image Velocimetry will be employed to fully characterise the steady and unsteady flow generated by upstream propeller. Combining this flow and noise data provides a fundamental understanding into the noise generating mechanisms associated with this interaction noise, which provides the bases for developing noise mitigation measures.

Related research groups

Acoustics Group
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