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The University of Southampton

A quiet revolution

Reducing noise in air travel

1 June 2021

Southampton Spotlight shines a light on the impact our University is having across the world, through the achievements of the individuals that make up our community.

Our skies are becoming busier. Despite the huge impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on air travel, the predictions are that the numbers of flights will continue to grow in years to come.

The International Air Transport Association predicts air travel will increase from the end of this year, returning to pre-pandemic 2019 levels by 2024, and then continue growing. That means more noise for all of us, especially those living under flight paths or near airports.

Or does it? For two decades, the University of Southampton has been Rolls-Royce’s main research partner for aircraft engine and airframe noise. Teams based in the University’s Institute of Sound and Vibration Research (ISVR) have developed noise modelling, measurement and mitigation technology that has been applied to every Rolls-Royce Civil Aerospace engine project since the early 2000s.

We can always fly higher (and quieter)

A group of researchers is continuing the revolutionary journey to ensure that an increase in air travel won’t bring with it an increase in noise on the ground.

A new grant from Innovate UK, worth £2m to the University over the next four years, will enable the Rolls-Royce University Technology Centre (UTC) in Propulsion Systems Noise to take its pioneering research collaboration with Rolls-Royce to the next level. The project is called FANTASIA (Future Noise Technologies and Systems Integration Analytics).

Aircraft noise, if we do nothing, will increase substantially simply because of the predicted increase in air traffic. FANTASIA is looking at aircraft noise, specifically engine noise, and is aimed at the next generation of aeroplane engines

Alec Wilson - Professor in Computational Aeroacoustics and Director of the UTC

Read the full story in Re:action , the University’s research and enterprise magazine.

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