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R. E.

G O R T O N Facilities ail Instrumentation fir

Development Engineer,
Pratt & Whitney Aircraft Division,
United Aircraft Corporation,
East Hartford, Conn.
Aircraft Engine Noise Studies
This paper describes the special facilities and instrumentation developed and used in the
study of aircraft turbine-engine noise at Pratt & Whitney Aircraft. Studies of jet-
exhaust noise and compressor-blade noise have required extensive use of the experimental
method to obtain basic understanding and to provide design data. Both model-scale and
full-scale facilities are described, as well as instrumentation systems for recording and
analyzing the acoustic data.

S I N C E jet-powered airplanes became numerous, there Jet-Noise Test FacilitiesModel Scale

has been a great deal written in the technical literature con-
For fundamental investigations of jet-exhaust noise, a facility
cerning the noise generated by jet engines. Many published
for the testing of nozzle models up to 3 in. dia has been most use-
papers dealing with acoustic studies of jet engines and aircraft
ful. Experience has shown what features are necessary in such a
have mentioned only incidentally the problems of measuring the
facility. Some early investigators of jet-noise suppressors drew
acoustical data of interest. To give an understanding of some of
misleading conclusions by measuring the noise reduction on
the problems of obtaining these data, in this paper are discussed
model test rigs which included no way of measuring the loss hi
the specialized facilities and instrumentation which have been
nozzle efficiency caused by the suppressor. An airplane of given
found necessary for study of jet-engine acoustics lay the
size and weight, requires a specified thrust for takeoff. Any noise-
author's company.
reducing device which reduces that thrust either causes the air-
There are in jet engines two predominant sources of noise. plane to pass over the area around the airport at a lower altitude,
One, the turbulent, high-velocity jet discharged from the ex- tending to cancel the benefit of the noise suppressor, or causes the
haust nozzle; the other, the compressor. There are many engine to be operated at a higher power, again tending to cancel
references in the literature to these noise-generating mechanisms, the benefit. Hence no acoustic measurement of jet^exhaust,
and several are noted for reference [1, 2, 3].1 The point of in- noise-suppressing device models is very useful unless the facility
terest here is simply that the sound spectrum and radiation pat- can also measure accurately the thrust developed by the configu-
tern from the two sources are quite different, so that the in- ration being tested so that losses can be evaluated. Some noise-
strumentation required for study of jet noise is in many respects suppression devices act by changing the direction at which the
different from that needed for compressor-noise study. The jet peak noise is heard, not necessarily in a pattern symmetrical
creates broad-band noise over the entire audible spectrum, with about the axis of the jet. The facility must provide for measur-
the instantaneous pressure fluctuations random in both ampli- ing the directional characteristics of the noise emitted.
tude and frequency. The noise pattern around the jet is not
sharply directional. The spinning blades of a compressor, on the
other hand, create one or more discrete tones and their harmonics,
directly related in frequenc3' to the rotor speed and number of
blades. The sound field around the air inlet ma}' be a multi-
lolled pattern hi space, having complex directional characteristics.
The acoustics problems of jet engines have been characterized
by urgent demands for noise reduction while neither adequate
theory nor empirical data were available to provide logical design
solutions. It has been necessary to depend heavily upon the ex-
perimental method to determine the controlling variables and to
verify postulated theories. In the early stages of an investiga-
tion, extensive use is made of reduced-scale models. Using these,
many variations of specimen geometiy can be tested quickly and
inexpensively. Also, test conditions may in many cases be
controlled better hi model size than in full scale. Having de-
veloped in model size some configurations that show promise, it
is then necessary to verify their performance in full scale.
As needs have arisen for study of jet noise and compressor noise,
both model and full scale, instrumentation systems have been
developed to obtain and process the necessary acoustic data.
This paper describes the microphones, recording instruments,
data-analysis instruments, and specialized systems encompassing
both test facilities and complete instrumentation that have
successfully provided the needed data.

1 Numbers in brackets designate References at end of paper.

Contributed by the Gas Turbine Division and presented at the

Gas Turbine Conference and Products Show, Zurich, Switzerland,
March 1 3 - 1 7 , 1966, of T H E A M E R I C A N S O C I E T Y O P M E C H A N I C A L
ENGINEERS. Manuscript received at A S M E Headquarters, October
28, 1965. Paper No. 6 6 G T / N - 4 1 . Fig. 1 Anechoic chamber for jet-noise studies of nozzle models

Journal of Engineering for Power J A N U A R Y 1 9 67 / 1

Copyright 1967 by ASME

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E _ F Fig. 4 Models of various nozzle configurations proposed for supersonic
transport use: Awater-cooled coplanar nozzle; Bnozzle with ejector
Fig. 2 Typical models of jet-noise supressor designs: A , Cspecial
support structure; Ctantalum primary nozzle; Dtantalum fan dis-
shapes of nozzle outlets; Btube-type; Dejector-type; Eslot-type
charge nozzle; Eassembly of C and D with water-cooled ejector; F
with various turning vanes; Fslot-type tantalum turbojet nozzle; Gturbofan nozzle with lobed suppressor;
Hvarious ejectors to fit on Model B

A facility to accomplish these purposes must be either in the

open air, free from sound-reflecting surfaces, or in an anechoic
chamber. Our facility was constructed as an anechoic chamber
in order to avoid interference by New England weather. Fig. 1
shows the interior of this chamber. The working space inside the
sound-absorbing wedges is 12 ft by 20 ft and 20 ft high. The
plenum chamber supplying ah' to the nozzle is mounted on a
thrust-measuring scale with a capacity of 200 lb thrust. In order
to obtain nozzle discharge and thrust coefficients, the flow, pres-
sure, and temperature of the air to the nozzle are also measured.
The nozzle is asymetrically placed in the floor of the chamber to
allow maximum space for microphone traversing in one quadrant.
The air supply, capable of 4 lb/sec at 22.5 psig, can be split to
allow separate control of flow, pressure, and temperature to two
concentric nozzles representative of the main jet and fan discharge
of turbofan-type engines. A burner in each stream upstream of
the test nozzle can be operated to supply air up to 3100 F to simu-
late the temperature range from fan discharge air to afterburner
exhaust. A supply of cooling air is blown through the chamber
0 to avoid overheating of the facility, with exhaust for jet air and
cooling air through the ceiling.
The chamber with all equipment installed has adequate ab-
sorption to permit acoustic measurements without interference
from reflections at all frequencies above 250 cps. Since the
models are normally about one-tenth scale, this represents a
range down to 25 cps in full scale. The upper limit of the useful
E F range is set by microphone characteristics. In order to measure
Fig. 3 Typical models of turbofan discharge ducf designs: Ashort noise frequencies equivalent to the normal eighth octave, 4S00 to
bifurcated ducf; B-model fo permit variation of circumferential dimen- 9600 cps, the model measurements must cover the band from
sion of short ducts; C, Dvariations of exit geometry of ducts with co- 48,000 to 90,000 cps. Commercially available condenser micro-
planar discharge; Econfigurations for mixing fan and primary jet
streams; Fducts with coplanar discharge having various circumferential
phones, Vi in- dia, have a frequency response adequately flat to
dimensions 100,000 cps and have been quite satisfactory for this application.

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Fig. 5 Whirling-arm rig for study of noise around a moving nozzle

The microphone for obtaining radiation patterns is mounted

on a boom pivoted near the nozzle. The boom can swing over an
arc of 90 deg in a plane through the nozzle axis, and the nozzle
can be rotated to various angular positions about its axis, thus
permitting the measurement of noise in an}' desired position
within a quarter of the hemisphere centered on the nozzle. The
microphone may also be traversed along the boom to any desired
radius up to 13 ft. All traverse motions are driven by electric
motors remotely actuated from a console in the facility control
room. Positions of the traverse mechanism are also transmitted
electrically to the control console, so that the operator knows the
microphone position at any time, with an accuracy of 1 deg in
angle and l U in. in radius. The microphone output is recorded
on magnetic tape for later semiautomatic analysis. The analy-
sis instrumentation will be discussed in a later section.
This anechoic chamber facility has been very effective in study-
ing a variety of jet-exhaust noise problems. Some of the models
tested during study of jet-engine noise suppressors are shown in
Fig. 2. When the turbofan engine became popular, interest
shifted to study of various configurations of main jet and fan
discharge jet, using models such as shown in Fig. 3. More re-
cently, nozzle configurations proposed for supersonic transport
engines have been studied. To operate at temperatures repre-
sentative of afterburning or fan-duct burning operation, some of
these nozzle models, as shown in Fig. 4, have been made from
tantalum. To date, about 1200 configurations of 150 basic
models have been tested in this facility.
One important factor which this facility cannot simulate is the
effect of forward speed of an airplane. Early flight tests of jet-
exhaust noise suppressors showed them to be less effective in
flight than when tested stationary on the ground. In order to
investigate the effect of flight speed, the facility shown in Fig. 5 Fig. 6 Compressor-noise test rig adapted from a performance test rig
was built. A nozzle model, supplied with air from the same
source as the anechoic chamber, was mounted on a rotating arm
phones in a circular arc about the nozzle.
at a 25-ft radius. The jet thrust of the nozzle drove the arm to
Tests using this facility showed that the relative velocity be-
rotate about its pivot to achieve speeds up to 150 knots at the
tween the gas in the jet and the surrounding atmosphere corre-
nozzle. The nozzle forward speed could be controlled to lower
lated well with noise output. Changes in the directional charac-
speeds, without changing the nozzle discharge pressure, bjr use of
teristics of the noise with flight velocity were found to be small.
a variable-area aerodynamic brake mounted on the tip of the arm,
The facility served its purpose and is no longer in existence.
outside the nozzle position. A burner mounted on the hub of
the rotor provided the heated air necessary to duplicate jet-
engine discharge temperatures. The noise pattern about the Compressor-Noise Test FacilitiesModel Scale
nozzle in simulated flight was measured by means of an array of The compressors for which there has been the greatest interest
microphones which traveled with the nozzle. Each of 10 in noise have been the fan stages of turbofan engines. The earli-
microphones was mounted at the end of a separate arm whose est attempts to investigate the effects of various changes in com-
angular position and radius were established to place the micro- pressor design and operating conditions upon noise were made

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the test chamber vertical^ through a ceiling inlet does not turn
uniformly into the bellmouth. A throttling valve in the dis-
charge duct feeds flow distortion back upstream into the plane of
COLLECTOR the rotor. These features prevent the noise level of a rotor having
no upstream inlet guide vanes from being as low as it can be made
in a rig having a more ideal inlet. For the noisier geometries
of compressors, the nonuniform inlet flow is not a serious handi-
cap. (c) The rotational speed of the reciprocating-engine drive
is not sufficiently stable to permit accurate measurement of the
phase of pressure fluctuations generated by tlie blades passing the
For investigation of some of the more detailed aspects of the
sound field in and around a compressor, construction of a more
refined rig has been necessaiy. A cross section of this two-stage
rig is shown in Fig. 7. Important design features which should
be noted are:
1 The compressor rotor, 17 in. dia, is mounted 96 in. above
the ground to give freedom from inlet distortion from ground
2 The rotor is cantilevered well forward of all supporting
structure, so that bearing support-strut wakes do not contribute
to noise generation.
3 The inlet is a smooth bellmouth of generous radius to give
undistorted inflow.
4 The air discharge passage is symmetrical to avoid dis-
turbance to flow symmetry.
5 To achieve symmetry of flow around the circumference of
the compressor, it is necessaiy that the rotor run concentric
within the cylindrical stator. As the gearbox heats up with
running, it expands, moving the axis of the rotor upward. To
using a single-stage, axial-flow compressor rig already in exist- retain concentricity, the pedestal supporting the stator is fitted
ence as a compressor-performance research rig. We refer to this with liot-water heating, so that the stator can be made to expand
rig as model scale, as it was only 28 in. dia and geometrically upward the same amount as the rotor axis. Observations of
similar to the 50-in-dia full-scale fan. However, it actually used electromagnetic clearance detectors permit setting stator ped-
full-scale compressor blades readily available from a smaller en- estal temperature to obtain concentricity, and an automatic
gine. Fig. 6 shows a rig of this sort after considerable develop- temperature controller holds the value which has been set.
ment to improve its suitability for acoustic measurements. The 6 Mounted on the same bedplate as the rig is a remotely
walls of the test chamber are lined with sound-absorbent panels controlled traverse mechanism for positioning a probe micro-
to reduce the reflection. The drive engine, a 3000-hp reciprocat- phone in the inlet. The probe can be traversed circumferentially
ing-type aircraft engine, is sealed off from the test chamber by the about the rotor axis at any desired radius, and can be traversed
wall at the right. The compressor casing is made up of a series along the rotor axis to give any desired distance between probe
of rings so that stationaiy vane assemblies may be changed easily tip and rotor blades. The actuating mechanisms are placed far
or moved longitudinally to vary spacing from the rotor blades. enough upstream to avoid flow disturbance, with a rugged,
The rotor shaft is cantilevered from the downstream end, so that tapered cantilevei probe support extending 4 ft from the support-
an overhanging rotor having no stationary struts or vanes up- ing structure to the point of measurement. The position of the
stream of the rotor may be run. Some of the rings of the outer probe tip is known within 0.010 in. radially, 0.1 deg circum-
case may be remotely rotated about the rotor axis, so that pres- ferentially, and 0.010 in. axially.
sure-measuring probes inserted through these rings may be 7 For work on the rig, a shelter can be moved into place to
traversed circumferentially behind stationary vanes to define protect operations from the weather. For compressor inlet or
the wakes of those vanes. These are all necessary features; directivity measurements, the shelter is easily moved out of the
but in spite of all the development effort on this t3>pe of rig, it way, leaving the rig in the open air except for a wind screen 80 ft
has serious limitations for some types of detailed compressor- in diameter surrounding the test area.
noise study.
This rig has proved satisfactory for detailed measurements of
In general, it is useful in measuring some aspects of the acoustic
the acoustic phenomena inside compressors and of the directivity
pressure fluctuations inside the compressor, in the near field of
patterns external to the compressors.
the blades and vanes. It gives a measure of the gross acoustic
energy emitted, and of the spectrum of the noise, and can show
the effects upon these factors of geometrical changes to the
compressor or of variation of operating conditions. The power,
Engine-Noise Test FacilitiesFull Scale
speed, and flow ranges well simulate full-scale larger engines. Acoustic testing of full-scale aircraft jet engines cannot be done
It has proved to be a useful facility. well on the type of test facilities usually available for engine de-
velopment testing. Some requirements for acoustic testing are:
The aspects in which this rig is inadequate are as follows:
(a) The inlet chamber, in spite of the absorbent wall treatment, 1 Free-field conditions must exist as nearly as is practical.
has too many reflections to permit satisfactory directivity mea- There must be no obstructing or reflecting walls or buildings near
surements; a full aneclioic chamber, with absorbent wedges on the noise source or microphone locations. Since the noise source
walls, floor, and ceiling would be necessaiy to achieve the de- is large, extending from the engine inlet to some poorly defined
sired free-field characteristics. (6) The inlet chamber does not area in the jet wake well aft of the engine, it is necessary to
give sufficiently uniform flow into the compressor inlet. The rig measure noise at a considerable distance from the engine to get
center line 2.15 rig diameters above the floor is not high enough the far-field noise pattern usually desired. This is the noise
to avoid vortices between floor and bellmouth. Air flowing into pattern as heard by an observer far enough away to be able to

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Fig, 8 Outdoor test area for full-scale engine noise measurments

consider the engine as a single-point source. In conflict with recording of wind speed and direction, and ambient air tempera-
this requirement are problems of atmospheric attenuation, and ture, and for regular logging of barometric pressure and humidity.
ground reflection and attenuation, which become more severe These atmospheric variables may have significant effects upon
as the measurement distance is increased. For engines of the transmission of sound from engine to microphones. Accurate
size to produce up to about 20,000 lb thrust, experience has and repeatable far-field data cannot be obtained when wind
shown that measurements at a radius of 150 ft from the engine speeds exceed 5 knots.
are a good compromise between getting into far-field conditions 4 There should be a multiple microphone installation to per-
and getting into attenuation problems. For larger engines, such mit simultaneous recording of data from many points. Varia-
as proposed for the supersonic transport and the C5A military tions in wind and atmospheric refraction from moment to
cargo airplane, (he 150-ft measurement radius will probably be moment, as well as variations in engine conditions, cause difficulty
inadequate. Microphone locations 200 to 300 ft from the engine in getting repeatable directivity data unless many microphone
will be necessary for such large engines. signals can be recorded simultaneously. Simultaneous recording
The problem of interference of the ground plane with free- also greatty reduces the running time and associated expenses.
field conditions has not been entirely solved. The engine center 5 Noise sources other than the test engine should be far
line should be far enough above the ground so that significant enough away so as not to interfere with acoustic measurements
scrubbing of the jet on the surface is avoided. We have used a or should be under the control of the test operator so they may be
6-ft height for tailpipe diameters up to 27 in. A loose crushed- shut down during acoustic measurements. The desire to be re-
rock surface on the ground near the engine provides a uniform mote from other noises can lead to trouble in another direction.
and repeatable acoustic reflection. Loose sand and grass cover- The neighbors around a formerly quiet area ma}' not like the in-
ing most of the area between engine and microphones have proved trusion of an open-air, jet-engine test stand. Finding a suitable
usable for lack of any practical alternative. When the ground is location for extensive acoustic testing may lie an insurmountable
frozen in the winter, the change in absorption due to several inches problem in many areas.
of loose snow has amounted to 5 db per 100 ft in the lowest three
6 If nonsymmetrical nozzle or suppressor geometries are to be
octaves. A corrugated pattern of 2-in-thick absorbent batts of
tested, it is necessary to measure in the vertical plane through the
fibrous material laid on the ground between engine and micro-
engine, as well as in the horizontal plane around the engine.
phone was tested. This arrangement introduced more prob-
This requires some structure to support an array of microphones
lems than it solved. Complete ground absorption, such as could
in the vertical plane.
be provided by anechoic wedges, is not desired as it would tend to
provide loo great attenuation for a measurement path only 6 ft A test area developed to meet these requirements is shown in
above the ground. A significantly higher placement of engine Fig. 8. It is in a clearing in a wooded area, with the only inter-
and microphones, in conjunction with a highly absorbent ground- fering noise being relatively infrequent flights of aircraft from a
surface treatment, might be suggested if a means of preventing nearby airport. The nearest neighbors are about one mile away
rain and snow from affecting the system could be devised. so that restrictions are necessary on running noisier types of en-
The ground surface should be flat. One test stand having a gines at high power except during midday hours. The two cir-
drainage ditch about 4 ft deep and 15 ft wide between the engine cular railroad tracks were at one time used for a remotely driven
and microphone positions has about 4 db extra attenuation in the cart traversing a microphone about the engine. This time-
second and third octaves as an apparent result of the ditch. consuming method was replaced by use of 21 permanently
2 The test stand must have instrumentation for measuring mounted microphones in an array on a 150-ft radius, as shown in
thrust, fuel flow, jet discharge temperature and pressure, and Fig. 9. Underground cables connect the microphones to the
other parameters defining engine performance. Requirements recording station. A diagram of the weatherproof outdoor micro-
for accuracy are as rigid as for a test stand intended for per- phone installation is shown in Fig. 10.
formance measurements, since the jet noise is strongly influenced A closer view of the engine test stand is shown in Fig. 11. It is
by engine performance. typical of stands used for engine-performance measurements
3 There should be at the test site instruments for continuous and is fully instrumented for that purpose.

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Fig. 9 Layout of fixed mierophone positions for noise measurements on a 150-ft radius

Measurements in the vertical plane over the engine have been

made with two different methods of microphone support. The BRASS W A T E R P R O O F I N G COVER

first system used a helium-filled barrage balloon to support the

vertex of a pyramid-like array of steel cables above the engine.
A single microphone was supported from the vertex of this CONDENSER MICROPHONE

array of cables and could be traversed in an arc in the vertical CATHODE FOLLOWER
plane by control of winches which adjusted the lengths of various ELECTRICAL ISOLATION
cables locating the position of the vertex. This system proved
slow and unwieldy and has been replaced by the tower structure
shown in Fig. 12. The boom pivots to reach a height of 100 ft

when elevated for use, or to retract to 50 ft when lowered, to MOISTURE ABSORBING -

avoid hazard to aircraft when not in actual use. The tower, in SILICA GEL PLUG
the vertical plane over the engine, supports cables from which an CABLE

array of 20 microphones is hung. The output of these micro-

phones is recorded by the same equipment used for the hori-
zontal array.
While this test stand with its array of microphones does well
at producing noise data from which can be calculated the pattern
of noise on the ground produced by an airplane flying overhead, CABLE CONNECTOR
it cannot reproduce for an observer the actual time-varying sound MOISTURE PROTECTION

of a passing airplane. The variations of intensity and spectrum

of an actual flj'over are very complex. No satisfactory numeri-
cal method has yet been devised which will predict accurately the
subjective reaction of ground observers to noise from airplane
flyovers when engines having different noise characteristics are
compared. The ultimate test is to fly the engine over the ob-
servers. However, by the time an engine is well enough de-
veloped to permit flight, it has been running for several years on
test stands. The design of a flight engine is frozen too solidly to
permit ready inclusion of any changes which might be desired TO SOUND RECORDING

after acoustic study of flyovers. EQUIPMENT

In order to permit observers to hear a simulation of an airplane Fig. 10 Details of one of fixed microphones
flyover with an engine not yet qualified for flight, another test
stand was constructed in the open, with the engine axis parallel measuring and listening to actual flyovers. Most such testing is
to and 75 ft from a private roadway, Fig. 13. An automobile done by the airframe companies, and description of the techniques
driven at 20 mph along the roadway is subjected to approxi- of measurement is outside the scope of this discussion.
mately the same variation of noise with time as would be a
stationary observer with an engine passing overhead at 600 ft Acoustic Absorption Materials Test Facility
altitude and 160 mph flight speed. Two microphones mounted Since compressor noise is generated inside a duct, there are
10 ft apart fore and aft on top of the automobile record possibilities for application of acoustically absorbent treatment
simultaneously on a stereo tape recorder. Listening to playback to the walls of the duct to attenuate partially the noise before it
of this tape, with the level properly adjusted to account for air- escapes to the surroundings. One classical manner of evaluating
plane altitude and number of engines, provides a "clrive-by" absorbent wall treatment is by use of an impedance tube. In this
noise simulation which is very realistic. device, the surface to be treated is compared to a solid reflecting
Since various aspects of the design of the airplanefor instance, surface by substitution on the end or wall of a standing-wave tube
the inlet, the discharge-duct design, and engine placementaffect containing a resonant air column. The reduction of strength of
the noise reaching the ground, the final judgment of the acoustical the standing waves when the absorbent material is substituted
design of the engine-airframe combination can only lie made by for the nonabsorbent is measured, and absorption coefficients are

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Fig. 11 Close-up of an engine mounted for noise measurements on outdoor test stand

Fig. 12 Tower for supporting microphones in vertical plane over an engine

Fig. 13 " D r i v e - b y " noise test stand

calculated. The impedance tube has been used for investigation sorbent lining is to be tested. An air supply capable of 10,000
of some of the fundamental properties of various wall treatments cfm airflow is piped into one reverberant chamber, flows with
but has serious limitations for study of actual engine-duct ab- velocities up to 300 fps through the test duct into the second re-
sorber designs. verberant chamber, and is exhausted to atmosphere. A small
It is difficult in the impedance tube to simulate odd-shaped pulse jet engine as sold for model-airplane propulsion can be
flow passages and to provide realistic flow velocities either with or placed in either of the reverberant chambers as a source of broad-
opposite the direction of sound propagation. The effect of the band noise. Usable levels of energy are generated from 400
flow velocity in the duct can be large and must be investigated to 15,000 cps. The noise source is located in the air supply cham-
for various geometries and surface treatments. A double ber for tests of engine exhaust ducts, and in the air discharge
reverberant-chamber test facility was developed to meet this chamber for tests of engine inlet ducts. A microphone is located
need. As shown schematically in Fig. 14, the two reverberant in each reverberant chamber. A photograph of the facility is
chambers are connected b}r a duct on the walls of which the ab- shown in Fig. 15.

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Testing is upon the basis of the "insertion loss" created by ex- plication of the treatment in various odd-shaped ducts simulating
changing a hard-walled test duct with an absorbent-walled test engine hardware.
duct. For a desired condition of duct airflow, the acoustic loss
between the two chambers for a hard-walled duct is subtracted Measurement and Analysis Instrumentation
from a similarly measured acoustic loss for the absorbent-walled
duct. The difference is the attenuation provided by the absorb- Instrumentation for the measurement of the sound pressure
ent treatment in the duct configuration tested. This facility fluctuations of interest in noise studies may be divided into micro-
has proved satisfactory both for investigation of the basic ab- phones, recording instruments, and analysis instruments. These
sorption properties of various wall treatments in straight ducts may all be integrated into a system for use on certain of the
and for measurement of the attenuation to be expected from ap- facilities previouslj' described.
Requirements for microphones for most engine-noise tests are
not different from other engineering uses of microphones. Re-
liability and repeatability of calibration are most important.
Freedom from humidity effects is required, as is a minimum of
effect of ambient temperature, as many tests are run outdoors.
A flat frequency response over the audio range from 20 to 20,000
cps is desired. Many commercially available microphones are
adequate. Our choice has been a J/2-in-dia condenser-type
microphone, usually used in ranges suitable for maximum sound
pressure levels of 150 or ISO db, but occasionally with a 200-db
range for near-field noise measurements.
Some special tests have other requirements. As mentioned in
the second section, the noise of scale-model nozzles extends above
the audible frequency range, so smaller Vj-in-dia microphones are
required. For measurement of the rotating pressure patterns
PULSE J E T NOISE SOURCE CAN BE LOCATED IN D O W N S T R E A M associated with compressor blades inside the compressor duct, a
slender probe which will minimize the disturbance to airflow is
INTERCHANGED. required. A typical probe-tube microphone for such measure-
Fig. 14 Schematic diagram of dual-reverberant-chamber test facility ments is shown in Fig. 16, with a curve of attenuation versus

Fig. 15 External v i e w of dual-reverberant-chamber test facility

Fig. 16 Cross section of probe-tube microphone

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frequency for transmission from the probe tip to the microphone. may not be set properly to give the optimum fit of the signal into
The frequency response should be determined by calibration for the available range, a broader range than this must be available.
each individual probe and microphone combination, as minor It takes a high-quality recorder, constant checking and meticu-
details of manufacture influence it. With this calibration for cor- lous maintenance, and careful setting of recording levels to lie
recting the data, the probe tube is a very useful device for extend- sure that the signals recovered from the tape recorder are a true
ing a large microphone into small places. If very small micro- reproduction of the original. Pretest calibration of the recording
phones are on hand to fit the space available, they are used system with a known shaped spectrum of random-noise electrical
directly, to eliminate the frequency-response problems of the signals in addition to the usual sine-wave calibration has been
probe tube. found helpful in insuring proper recording.
There is a need in the study of the details of axial-flow compres- Analysis of microphone signals, except for certain specialized
sor noise to measure the fluctuating pressure pattern on the measurements to be discussed later, consists of finding the level
vanes caused by passing blades, and on the blades caused by and the frequency spectrum. For broad-band noise as generated
passing through the wakes of the vanes. Even the probe-tube by the jet discharge, common practice is to define the spectrum by
microphone cannot readily be inserted into such places. To serve measurement of the level in octave bands. It is always necessary
this need, miniature condenser microphones which can be to be assured, either by experience or by a narrow-band observa-
cemented to the surface of blades or vanes have been developed. tion of the spectrum, that distribution of energy content through
Details of these microphones have been presented for publication the spectrum is uniform enough so that the rather large segments
[4] and will not be covered here. In brief, the microphone is of an octave analj'sis do not smear over peaks of interest. If a
only 0.010 in. thick, with a sensitive portion 0.100 in. dia. The spectrum is too irregular for adequate definition by octave band,
microphone and its lead are cemented to the surface of blades or one-third octave bands are commonly used to improve the reso-
vanes in the same manner as are strain gages. Typical specimens lution.
are shown in Fig. 17. Signals from microphones on rotors are The measured level of I he electrical signal from the micro-
brought out through the same type of slip rings [5] as used for phone in each band is only the start of sometimes lengthy calcu-
strain-gage measurements. Use of these microphones has con- lations. Corrections for microphone sensitivity, cable losses,
tributed considerably to the understanding of the pattern of recorder sensitivity, and other factors influencing the signals
pressure variations in full-scale operating compressors. must be applied to get octave (or one-third octave) sound pres-
Another essential facility which should be mentioned in con- sure levels. For much aircraft-noise work, these data must be
nection with microphones is that of calibration. Confidence in converted to predicted noise for various altitudes, air speeds,
final results can be no better than confidence in one's knowledge and numbers of engines on the airplane. The noise unit most
of microphone sensitivity. Such confidence only comes from commonly used is the PNclb or ''Perceived Noise in decibels,"
periodic calibrations, more frequently needed in an industrial which is an empirically determined scale of subjective reaction to
aircraft-engine environment than in the usual acoustics research aircraft noise [0]. This conversion requires several more steps of
laboratory. Calibration facilities, with one exception, are not calculation. It is also necessary to convert the data from as
different for aircraft-engine noise studies than for most other many as 21 microphones in an arc about the engine to the pre-
acoustics measurements and so will not be described here. dicted variation of noise versus time as the airplane flies over.
The exception is the high level of sound pressure to which micro- This involves trigonometric conversions from arc to slant height
phones must be calibrated for some engine applications. One of and varying corrections for atmospheric attenuation with dis-
the more common symptoms of deterioration of a microphone is tance. When these calculations must all be done for many
for it to become nonlinear versus pressure at the high end of its thrust settings and for many changes of configuration, the volume
of arithmetic becomes impossible to handle in any reasonable time.
range. A convenient means of checking the response of high-
Digital-computer calculation becomes essential. Methods for
intensity microphones to pressure pulses in the 190-db range has
getting the data into the computer with as little manual handling
been found to be a shock tube. Extrapolation of low-level cali-
as possible are likewise desired.
brations to high-level measurements has been found to be
defiilitely unsa tisfactory,
In most cases, it is convenient to store the signals from the
microphones on magnetic tape. Multichannel simultaneous
recording permits later use of a single-channel analysis system on
multichannel data and greatly reduces running time. In many
cases, the best method of analysis of the signaLs is determined
after preliminary study of the data. Tape storage of the signals
permits trial of many methods of analysis, a feature not con-
venient with live on-line analysis.
Requirements for tape recorders for this purpose are not as
stringent as for some other instrumentation purposes. The tape
speed stability, including wow and flutter, should be held to the
best available limits. However, it. is possible to give a rather
broad tolerance on the signal level accuracy, so that frequency-
modulation recording is not required. For application to the
acoustic signals being discussed here, direct recording may be
used as long as tape and recorder heads are carefully maintained.
Accuracies of 5 to 10 percent are possible and adequate, repre-
senting approximately 0.5 to 1.0 db.
Some precautions should be mentioned. Remembering that a
broad band of frequencies, at least from 20 to 10,000 cps, is of
interest, we know that some portions of this spectrum may
generate signal voltage leveLs 30 db higher than other portions
of the spectrum. Also, the random character of instantaneous
amplitude of the signal means that peaks at least 10 db above the
average signal must be recorded. Hence a dynamic range of at.
least 40 db for the signal is required Since the recording level Fig. 17 Thin-film microphones installed on compressor blades

Journal of Engineering for Power J A N U A R Y 1 9 67 / 9

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Fig. 18 Block d i a g r a m of SNORE

Fig. 19 SNORE automatic spectrum a n a l y z e r

A system called SNORE (Sequential Noise Output Recording senting the spectrum on a cathode-ray screen at a rate of one
Equipment) is used for converting noise signals stored on mag- complete frequency scan per second.
netic tape into octave-band (or one-third octave band) sound Analysis of the sound-pressure field produced by the rotating
pressure levels on punched cards ready for computation. A blades in the duct of an axial-flow compressor requires more
block diagram of the system is shown in Fig. 18. A single micro- specialized instrumentation. The frequency content of the
phone channel is played back from the tape and the signal split noise can be determined by narrow-band spectrum analyzers,
into eight octave bands by bandpass filters. The outputs of the but this is only part of the information. The pressure field is a
filters, plus a ninth channel carrying the 37 to 9600 cps overall function of position in the duct, as well as of time [3], The
signal, are then passed through logarithmic amplifiers to convert spatial pressure pattern must be known to guide compressor noise-
the signals to voltages proportional to the logarithm of micro- reduction design changes. The compressor test rigs previously
phone pressure fluctuations; that is, to decibels. The output described have accurately controlled microphone positioning
of each of these channels is then rectified and averaged for 25 devices to permit exploration of this spatial pattern. The most
sec in a storage capacitor. The voltage to which each capacitor general-purpose system for handling both microphone acoustic
is charged is then read sequentially by a self-balancing potentiome- signals and position data is nicknamed ALPINE, for "Acoustic
ter. The shaft position of the potentiometer is converted to Level Phase Shift Investigation Equipment."
digital form by a shaft-position encoder and punched onto cards. A block diagram of the system is shown in Fig. 20. Knowledge
These cards also receive preset fixed data for identification of of the phase of a signal implies some reference signal of equal
test conditions. Fig. 19 shows the SNORE analyzer. It ana- frequency and known angle. In the compressor rigs being dis-
lyzes a maximum of 120 spectra per hr and has analyzed about cussed, this reference signal is generated by a gear fixed rigidly to
500,000 spectra since construction in 1960. the compressor rotor. The gear has a number of teeth equal to
Many types of commercially available spectrum analyzers, the number of compressor rotor blades. These teeth passing a
with bandwidths from octave and third octave to as narrow as stationary electromagnetic pickup generate a sine wave of fre-
2 cps, are also used to obtain automatically plots of sound pres- quencjr equal to the frequency of blade passing.
sure level versus frequency. Very useful for monitoring a The noise signal from the microphone and the reference signal
spectrum while running, or for rapid scanning of many spectra, from the gear are the inputs to two electronic multiplier-inte-
is the spectrum analyzer with electronically swept filter, pre- grators. In other terms, these are special-purpose correlation

10 / J A N U A R Y 1 9 6 7 Transactions of the A S M E

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MICROPHONE . T J P(t) R(t)d1


Pit) ^ P ( . ) . R M ( t . i ) d l

Fig. 2 1 Block diagram of MITSI mode identification equipment

function computers. Iu one, the microphone signal and reference A digital computer then performs a Fourier analysis of the
signal are multiplied directly. In the other, the reference signal spatial shape of the pressure field to give the amplitude and
is shifted 90 deg in phase before a similar multiplication with the phase of all the spatial components present at the frequency de-
microphone signal. The outputs of these two multipliers repre- termined by the number of teeth on the reference signal genera-
sent the in-phase and quadrature components of the microphone tor.
signal having the same frequency as the reference signal. Knowl- For many compressor-noise tests, the radial and axial spatial
edge of the two orthogonal components yields simple calculation patterns are not of interest. All that is desired is identification
of the phase angle of the noise with respect to rotor-shaft position. of various pressure patterns having spokelike multiple radial
ALPINE combines this phase-measuring system with a pro- lobes of pressure, spinning about the rotor axis at various multi-
grammer which moves the microphone in preset increments either ples of rotor speed. For instance, a 32-blade rotor may generate
axially, circumferential^, or radially. When the microphone a four-lobe pattern rotating at eight times rotor speed or an
stops at each selected point, the programmer takes a 10-sec eight-lobe pattern rotating at four times rotor speed, both gen-
average of the sound pressure level at the microphone and of the erating a pressure fluctuation at 32 cycles per rotor revolution, as
in-phase and quadrature outputs of the multipliers. These felt by a stationary microphone. With prior knowledge of the
averages, microphone position, air temperature in the rig, and compressor configuration, the existence of such spatial patterns
fixed identification data are all digitized and recorded on punched can be predicted analytically. An analog computation system
cards. was built to give rapid measurements of the strength of such a

Journal of Engineering for Power J A N U A R Y 1 9 67 / 1 1

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pa l,Lcl'll having a prcseleded lI\lrnb ~r of radial llll)c~ . This "ys-
tem was nicknnmed ?lLlT, 'I, for " Mode Ideut ific'ntioll by Time-
, 'pace In tegration."
A block diagram of MITSI is shown ill Fig. 21. IL will bc
noted that tbe rcference signal generator and the electronic
lUultiplier-integrators nre t he same as used fo l' ALPINE. There
has been add ed an eleclromechanical phase sllift cr IJeL\\'een tbe
referen ce. ignal generator [mel t he multiplier input. The output
of the ill-phase and qundmLure component s is read frolll meter5,
rather than being cligit,ized onto cards.
The electromechani cal phase- hifler is geared b~' easi ly changea-
ble gears to (he microphone circumferential tmverse e\Iive.
Opera Lion of the sy ~ 1 C'm can best. be seen by describing an ex-
ample. Assume we have a 32-blnde rot.or with 240 up tTeam
stationary vanes and 36 downstream vanes. 'Ve kllow t hai.
interaction between Lhose numbers of blades and vanes will pro-
du ce rolating patterns of eight. lobes and foul' lobes, spinning Lo
produce a frequency of 32 t imes rotor speed at. a s tationfil'~'
microphone. 'Ve lise a 32-(00th gear to genemte a reference
signal of 32 Cpl'. A phase-sbifter, drive-gear is cllOsen
which will shift the )lhase of the referen ce signal eight. co mplete
c'ycles for one 360 deg circumferential t.raverse of t he mi crophone.
The outputs of multipliers are integrated 0 1' averaged over
the t ime required for t he microphone to traverse a quarl er of the
circumference, an angle equal to two cycles of (.he eight-lobe
pattern being measlll'ed . When a measurement is desired, the
lll.icrophoneis traversed slowly, and the averaged readings of Fig. 22 ALPINE and MI TSI conl,ol consoles
1he multipliers are taken at the end of Lhe desired segment of
tmverse. If t he phase-shifter had been disengaged, t he, patial
pressure pattern would have c[lused the reference signal and micro- decade. Special credit should ~o lo J . j\1. Tyler, T. G. t;ofriIl,
phone signal to go in and out of pbase as t he microphone moved . ancl D. S. 'Vhite, of lhe acousl'ics statl', a nd Lo A. Waterman,
Witbout the phase-. hifter, Lhe output of (.he mUltipliers would head of t he elect.ronics stall', for their part in planning and
average to zero for the t wo cycles traversed . The phase-shifter bringing into existence t he sysLems described. Credit should
compensates for the spatial phase shift and keeps Lhe micro- also be given the engiueering management of Pratt & Whi tney
phone and reference signals in phase, as far as a pat tel'll having Aircraft for contiJllled support of acollstics research wit.1l the
eight lobes is concerned. The in-phase and quadraLure compo- objective of engine-noise reduction.
nents, from which amplitude and phase of an eightlobe pattern are
calculated, are read from the meters at the end of the traverse.
With the eight-lobe gearillg, the signals from spinning patterns
of any otber number of lobes will shift in and out of phase dUl'ing 1 M. J. Lighthill. "Sound Generated Aerody namically." Proceed-
inos oj th e Royal Society, London. England, vo\. 276, Series A, 1962.
I he traverse and average to zero. Ha,villg obtained a measure- p . 147.
ment of t he strength of the eight-lobe pattern, the gear ratio 2 J. :M . Tyler and E. C. Perry, "Jet Noise," SAE 'l'ransactiolls,
between microphone drive and phase-shifter is changed to the vol. 63, 1955, p. 308.
next pattern of interest. For Ollr example, gears would be 3 J. M . Tyler and T. G. Sofrin, "Axial Flow Compressor Noise
Studies." SAE Transaclz:olls. vol. 70. 1962, p. 309 .
. elected to shift the reference signal phase t hrough foUl' cycles for 4 J . M. Yarlott and A. B . Dauger. "Improvements ill Plastic Film
one revolution of the microphone traverse. Anot.ber traverse, Pressure Transducers," presented at t he Fourth Transducer Work-
and readings of the meters, would t.hen give the strength of the shop of the TRIG at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, June
four-lobed pattern. Similarly, gears could be chosen to select 18- 19, 1964.
5 E. A. Potter, "Slip Ring T echniques for Aircra ft Gas Turbine
(he proper rate of pbase shift to match a patteI'll having any Engine Development," Strain GaODReadinos. vol. 6, no. 2, June-July,
number of lobes, and tbe strength of that'll meas ured. 1963, pp. 11-3 2.
These two special-purpose systems for compressor-noise study 6 K . D . Kry ter a nd K. S. Penrsons, "Some Effects of Spectral
:Ire shown in Fig. 22. Content and Duration on Perce.ived Noise Level," NASA Technical
Note D-1873, April, 1963.

The facilities, insLrument s, and system descri bed give a picture
of Lhe tools which have been found necessllry for intensive study
of vllrious noise problems over the past 12 yea r:;. 11'Iuch of
Lhe work could be caHied out with much less complicated and
specialized systems, but not at the pace n ece~sary to keep up
wi t h rapid developments in aircraft power plants. In spite of
extensive efforls by all segments of tbe aeronautical industry,
Lhere seems li ttle evidence that t he trouhlesome 110i ~es of Ilir-
craft are about to valli~h. At the end of anot her decade, it should
be possible to describe a whole new catalog of tools which have
been developed to at.tack noi~e problems not yet heard .

The development of Lhe fncitH ies nnd iJlstrllmellUl tion de:;cribed
hns been the result of t.he effort of mauy people over more th an a

12 / J ANUARY 1967 Transactions of the AS ME

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