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Numerical Characterization of the Background Noise Generated by the ARL/Penn State Garfield Thomas Water Tunnel Impeller

[+] Author Affiliations
Michael L. Jonson, Micah R. Shepherd, Eric C. Myer, Stephen A. Hambric, Rachael J. DeRoche

The Pennsylvania State University, State College, PA

Paper No. IMECE2009-10468, pp. 43-50; 8 pages
  • ASME 2009 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Volume 15: Sound, Vibration and Design
  • Lake Buena Vista, Florida, USA, November 13–19, 2009
  • Conference Sponsors: ASME
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4388-8 | eISBN: 978-0-7918-3863-1
  • Copyright © 2009 by ASME


The Pennsylvania State University Applied Research Laboratory has a 1.22 meter (48 inches) diameter closed loop water tunnel. The flow is driven by an axial pump with three blade rows and powered by a 1.5 MW motor. The four blades of the impeller have the highest relative velocities of any lifting surface in the facility, and generate input acoustic power which acts as a background noise floor in tunnel measurements of turbomachinery and vehicle body performance. In this paper, we investigate the sound power radiated by the impeller and its propagation through the water tunnel. Trailing edge hydrodynamic forcing functions are computed for the impeller based on local relative velocities and turbulence properties. For lower frequencies, these forces are then applied to an experimentally validated structural finite element model (FEM) of the impeller. The input power to the water tunnel is determined using an acoustic boundary element model (BEM) of the impeller. A statistical energy (SEA) model of the water tunnel allows for an estimate of the rms pressure within the water tunnel test section to provide guidance on lowering background noise.

Copyright © 2009 by ASME



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