Navy seeks lower jet exhaust noise

April 16, 2012 at 8:07 AM
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WASHINGTON, April 16 (UPI) -- Six U.S. universities and two companies have received contracts and grants to research how to reduce supersonic aircraft noise.

The contracts and grants from the U.S. Office of Naval Research, worth more than $4 million, were given to teams at Brigham Young University, California Institute of Technology, Cascade Technologies, Innovative Technology Applications Co., University of Illinois, University of Mississippi, Pennsylvania State University and Virginia Tech.

"The noise problem falls into two categories: noise exposure on the flight deck and noise impact on the communities surrounding air bases," said Brenda Henderson, deputy manager for the Jet Noise Reduction project, which is part of ONR's Noise-Induced Hearing Loss program. "We're funding the development of tools that we'll need to help control jet noise in tactical aircraft."

Under the awards, which are jointly funded with NASA, participants will develop noise-reduction technologies as well as measurement and prediction tools and noise source models to dampen the engine exhaust noise of naval aircraft.

In explaining the noise level of supersonic aircraft, ONR noted that factories are required to institute a hearing protection program once noise levels reach 85 decibels. Jet noise from tactical aircraft can reach 150 decibels on the flight line.

Research and tools produced by the project will help create new approaches to noise-mitigation technology to reduce levels of jet exhaust noise that when combined with hearing protection for service personnel and also lower levels of noise experienced by nearby communities.

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