Different systems and strategies have been invented in order to reduce the noise level inside the fuselage of aircrafts. First of all passive methods like adding materials with high damping or vibration absorbing qualities were used. Due to mass reduction as a major aspect in aircraft design a lot of research is focused on active noise reduction (ANR). The level of attenuation gained by an ANR - system is depending on several attributes of the system like hardware and software in use. Another important parameter, which has a great impact on the performance, is the positioning of the actuators and sensors. Because of the high number of possible arrangements of actuators and sensors in three dimensional spaces, it is almost impossible to determine the optimal positions by experimental work. Therefore numerical optimization is applied.
In this paper a hybrid evolutionary algorithm is introduced for the calculation of appropriate configurations for a fixed number of actuator and sensors out of a high number of possible positions for an ANR - system within a military aircraft. The presented COSA - algorithm (cooperative simulated annealing) connects qualities of two well known optimization algorithms, the simulated annealing (SA) and genetic algorithm (GA). A general description of the algorithm and the acoustical basics will be provided together with an overview of the results.
In some types of aircraft tonal interior noise with high sound pressure level (up to 110 dB(A)) occurs at low frequencies (f < 500 Hz). Typical examples are propeller driven aircraft, for which the excitation frequencies are given by the blade passage frequency (BPF) and its higher harmonics. The high tonal noise levels at these frequencies can occur due to the fact that the blades' profiles are only optimized in terms of aerodynamics. The acoustic properties are usually not taken into account. In order to obtain an acceptable interior noise level, and to guarantee both work-safety and comfort in the aircraft interiors, passive methods are commonly used - e.g. adding material with high damping or vibration absorbing qualities. Especially when low frequency noise has to be reduced, adding material results in a lot of unwanted additional weight. In order to avoid this extra weight, the concept of active noise reduction (ANR) and tunable vibration absorber systems (TVA), which focus on the unwanted tonal noise, are a good compromise of treating noise and the amount of additional weight in aircraft design. This paper briefly discusses two different possible methods to reduce the low frequency noise. The noise reduction of tuned vibration absorbers (TVA) mounted on the airframe are nowadays commonly used in propeller driven aircraft and can be predicted by vibroacoustic finite element calculations, which is described in this paper. In order to abide to industrial safety regulations, the noise level inside the semi closed loadmaster area (LMA) must be reduced down to a noise level, which is even 8 dB(A) below the specified cargo hold noise level. The paper describes also the phases of development of an ANR system that could be used to control the sound pressure level inside the LMA. The concept is verified by experimental investigations within a mock up of the LMA.