Archives of Acoustics, 42, 4, pp. 653–675, 2017

Numerical Prediction of the Tonal Airborne Noise for a NACA 0012 Aerofoil at Moderate Reynolds Number Using a Transitional URANS Approach

Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH

Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH

Alessandro ZANON
Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH

Tonal airborne noise of aerofoils appears in a limited range of moderate Reynolds numbers and angles of attack. In these specific conditions, the aerofoil is characterised by a large region of laminar flow over the aerodynamic surface, typically resulting in two-dimensional laminar instabilities in the boundary
layer, generating one or more acoustic tones. The numerical simulation of such phenomenon requires, beside an accurate prediction of the unsteady flow field, a proper modelling of the laminar to turbulent transition of the boundary layer, which generally imposes the use of highly CPU demanding approaches
such as large eddy simulation (LES) or direct numerical simulation (DNS). This paper aims at presenting the results of numerical experiments for evaluating the capability of capturing the tonal airborne noise by using an advanced, yet low computationally demanding, unsteady Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes
(URANS) turbulence model augmented with a transitional model to account for the laminar to turbulent transition. This approach, coupled with the Ffowcs Williams and Hawkings (FW-H) acoustic analogy, is adopted for predicting the far-field acoustic sound pressure of a NACA 0012 aerofoil with Reynolds
number ranging from $0.39 · 10^6$ to $1.09 · 10^6$. The results show a main tone located approximately at
1.6–1.8 kHz for a Reynolds number equal to $0.62 · 10^6$, increasing to 2.4 kHz at Reynolds number equal to
$0.85 · 10^6$ and 3.4 kHz at $1.09 · 10^6$, while no main tones are observed at $0.39 · 10^6$. The computed spectra
confirm that the acoustic emission of the aerofoil is dominated by tonal structures and that the frequency
of the main tone depends on the Reynolds number consistently with the ladder-like tonal structure
suggested by Paterson et al. Moreover, in specific conditions, the acoustic spectra exhibit a multi-tonal
structure visible in narrowband spectra, in line with the findings of Arbey and Bataille. The presented
results demonstrate the capability of the numerical model of predicting the physics of the tonal airborne
noise generation.
Keywords: tonal airborne noise; NACA 0012; Laminar Boundary Layer-Vortex Shedding noise; ladderlike tonal structure of the acoustic spectrum; multi-tonal structure of the acoustic spectrum
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DOI: 10.1515//aoa-2017-0069

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