Controller design for propeller phase synchronization with aeroacoustic performance metrics

Andrew Patterson, Kasey Ackerman, Aditya Gahlawat, Naira Hovakimyan, Noah H. Schiller, Irene Gregory

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Active noise reduction using phase control takes advantage of the propellers used in a distributed electric air vehicle by treating each propeller as an independent acoustic source. These acoustic sources can destructively interfere if the propellers are synchronized. With this method, the radiated sound power around the vehicle can be reduced. The purpose of this paper is to design a controller that regulates propeller positions to reduce the radiated sound power through destructive interference and to demonstrate the performance of the controller through acoustic testing. There are two control requirements for reducing the sound pressure level considered in this paper. The first is accurately regulating the difference between the propeller azimuthal blade positions (phase) relative to their neighbors. By changing the phase at the source, we can control the phase of the sound wave at an arrival position to create destructive interference. The second consideration is maintaining high coherence between the two propeller sources. To achieve significant attenuation, the controller needs to regulate phase error and suppress sources of incoherence. Performance is demonstrated through sound recordings performed in the NASA Langley Structural Acoustic Loads and Transmission (SALT) anechoic chamber. We show that the controller is capable of reducing sound pressure level at a given observer location by 17 dB at the blade passage frequency and that this method can reduce the radiated sound power by 6 dB at the blade passage frequency.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAIAA Scitech 2020 Forum
PublisherAmerican Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Inc, AIAA
ISBN (Print)9781624105951
StatePublished - 2020
EventAIAA Scitech Forum, 2020 - Orlando, United States
Duration: Jan 6 2020Jan 10 2020

Publication series

NameAIAA Scitech 2020 Forum
Volume1 PartF


ConferenceAIAA Scitech Forum, 2020
Country/TerritoryUnited States

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering


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