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EPSRC Reference: EP/W01498X/1
Title: Asymptotic approximation of the large-scale structure of turbulence in axisymmetric jets: a first principle jet noise prediction method
Principal Investigator: Afsar, Dr M
Other Investigators:
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
BAE Systems Independent Commission on Civil Aviation Mississippi State University
Queen Mary University of London University of Bayreuth Upstream CFD GmbH
Department: Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Organisation: University of Strathclyde
Scheme: New Investigator Award
Starts: 01 April 2022 Ends: 31 March 2025 Value (£): 354,627
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Continuum Mechanics Non-linear Systems Mathematics
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Transport Systems and Vehicles
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
24 Nov 2021 EPSRC Mathematical Sciences Prioritisation Panel November 2021 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
Ever since the jet age began in the 1950s, governments, scientists, and engineers have been acutely aware of the health effects created by aircraft noise--the prolonged exposure of which is highly damaging to human health. Increased noise pollution, for example, has been linked to cognitive impairment and behavioural issues in children, sleep disturbance (and consequent health issues therefrom) as well as the obvious hearing damage caused by the repeated intrusion of high levels of noise. The World Health Organization estimates that 1-million healthy life years are lost in Europe due to noise; this is mainly by cardiovascular disease via the persistent increase in stress level-with aviation noise being the largest contributor here. Moreover, the Aviation Environment Federation found that these issues place a £540M/year burden on UK government expenditure. While there has been tremendous progress in understanding aircraft noise, the doubling of flights in the past 20 years to a staggering 40 million (in the pre-Covid year 2019) has heightened the need for research into the physics of jet noise to uncover new reduced-order turbulence models. This proposal develops a novel mathematical model for jet flow turbulence using asymptotic analysis. The re-constructed turbulence structure will be used within a numerical code for fast noise prediction of a high-speed axisymmetric jet flow.

Fundamentally, a jet flow breaking down into turbulence creates pressure fluctuations that propagate away as sound. In 1952, Lighthill showed that the Navier-Stokes equations can be exactly re-arranged into a form where a wave operator acting on the pressure fluctuation, is equal to the double-divergence of the jet's Reynolds stress. When the auto-covariance of the Reynolds stress was assumed to be known for a fluid at rest, scaling properties of the acoustic spectrum were obtained such as the celebrated 8th power law. The generalized acoustic analogy formulated by Goldstein in 2003 advanced this idea by dividing the fluid mechanical variables into a steady base flow and its perturbation. The acoustic spectrum per unit volume is a tensor product of a propagator and the auto-covariance of the purely fluctuating Reynolds stress tensor. The propagator can be calculated by determining the Green's function of the Linearized Euler operator for an appropriate jet base flow however, as in Lighthill's theory, the auto-covariance tensor is assumed to be known, which invariably requires the use of Large-Eddy Simulation (LES) and experiments to obtain an approximate functional form for it. But LES data still uses immense computational resources and computing time when different nozzle operating points are needed for design optimization or when complex jets are considered.

What makes any alternative to modelling so complex is that the turbulence closure problem precludes a closed-form theory for the auto-covariance tensor. However, our recent work revealed that the peak noise can be accurately predicted when the propagator is determined at low frequencies that are of the same order as the jet spread rate (that is lesser than unity). This proposal, therefore, sets out an alternative, first-of-its-kind, analytical approach to determine the fluctuating Reynolds stress for a given mean flow solution. By solving the governing equations at this asymptotic scaling where the jet evolves temporally at the same rate it spreads in space, we determine the Large-Scale Turbulence (LST) structure in the jet. This approach is defined by a 2-dimensional system of equations for an axisymmetric jet and the computational time is expected to be an order-of-magnitude faster than LES. The LST-based solution of the Reynolds stress auto-covariance for peak jet noise will be compared to LES data provided by our project partners at several jet operating conditions. We aim to show that the LST model of turbulence provides accurate noise predictions and is a viable alternative to LES.
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