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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/J007633/1
Title: Spectral Leading Edge Serrations for the Reduction of Aerofoil-Turbulence Interaction Noise
Principal Investigator: Kim, Professor J
Other Investigators:
Joseph, Professor P
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Rolls-Royce Plc (UK) Vestas
Department: Faculty of Engineering & the Environment
Organisation: University of Southampton
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 29 June 2012 Ends: 30 June 2015 Value (£): 447,703
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
03 Nov 2011 Materials, Mechanical and Medical Engineering Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
The Department for Transport forecasts that by 2020 the number of passengers using UK airports will be around 400 million, compared to 200 million today. Aviation noise represents a major obstacle to the future expansion of many existing airports and thus the growth in the capacity of the air transport system. In 2001 the Advisory Council for Aeronautics Research in Europe (ACARE) set out a target to reduce perceived aviation noise to one half of the current level by 2020. To achieve the ACARE target by the year 2020 a "technology breakthrough" is urgently needed. Wind turbine manufacturers also require new technology for the significant reduction of aerodynamic noise in order to make wind turbines more acceptable to communities, especially concerned with onshore wind farms. Such a technology breakthrough can only be achieved through a fundamental evaluation and re-design of aerofoils, particularly the "leading edges" (LE), since upstream turbulent flows impinging on the LE of an aerofoil is believed to be the dominant source mechanism of broadband noise in turbofan engines (rotor wakes scattered by the outlet guide vanes - OGV) and wind farms (upstream rotor wakes scattered by the downstream turbine blades). In turbofan engines, it is envisaged that new LE design would be applied to the OGV since noise reductions can only be achieved by modifying the OGV response or the rotor wake turbulence (much more difficult).

The proposed 30-month research project aims to develop and investigate new aerofoil LE designs for the reduction of the broadband noise generated by the interaction between the aerofoil's LE and impinging turbulent flows, whilst minimising its impact on aerodynamic performance. The new aerofoil LE designs will be constructed by combining "smooth" spectral (wavy) serrations with multiple wavelengths, which has never before been attempted. In this project, a coordinated aeroacoustic and aerodynamic study of this new LE topology is proposed, particularly focused on the effects of smaller wavelengths (comparable to the impinging turbulence length scale), which are expected to be effective in reducing noise without making a significant impact on aerodynamic performance. The proposed project will take full advantage of the experimental and computational expertise of the two investigators. The successful outcome of this project will lead to a new aerofoil LE design that offers maximum noise reduction and minimum aerodynamic penalty. The commercial and academic impact of this work is potentially substantial.

The proposed research programme will be largely split and managed in four stages: 1) testing baseline aerofoil models for calibration and validation purposes; 2) identifying the most effective Fourier modes of the proposed LE serrations with respect to noise reduction; 3) combining the identified individual Fourier modes into an integrated spectral LE design (8 models in total) and testing the aerodynamic performance as well as the overall noise reduction; and 4) further understanding and improving the most favourable design found in Stage 3 via detailed numerical simulations. The experimental measurements will be performed in our AWT (anechoic wind tunnel) facilities. The numerical simulations will be carried out by using CAA (computational aeroacoustics) techniques. The CAA and AWT activities are closely coordinated and mutually supportive to ensure maximum value to the project. The proposed study will be based on a NACA65(1)-210 aerofoil with the Reynolds number up to 1.1x10^6 and the Mach number of 0.3 to 0.6. The length scales of impinging free-stream turbulence will be determined and generated in accordance with the guidelines from the industrial partners representing the aero-engine and wind turbine industries.
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Organisation Website: http://www.soton.ac.uk