An investigation of rotor aeroacoustics with unsteady motions and uncertainty factors

Siyang Zhong, Peng Zhou, Wangqiao Chen, Hanbo Jiang, Han Wu, Xin Zhang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


The aeroacoustic characteristics of flying vehicles with pitch-fixed rotors differ from traditional helicopters with pitch-controlled rotor blades. Accurate predictions of rotor noise are still challenging because many uncertainty factors and unsteadinesses exist. This work investigates the aeroacoustic effects of rotational speed deviation, rotation speed fluctuation, blade vibration and blade geometric asymmetry. The analysis is based on the efficient computation of rotor noise under different working conditions. The mean aerodynamic variables are computed using the blade element moment theory, while small-amplitude fluctuations are introduced to account for the unsteadiness and uncertainty factors. It is shown that periodic rotation speed fluctuations and blade vibrations can produce significant extra tones. By contrast, if the fluctuations and vibrations are random, the noise level in a wide frequency range is increased. The intriguing result reminds us of the need to revisit the rotor broadband noise sources commonly attributed to turbulent flows. The influences are observer angle dependent, and the extra noise production is more significant in the upstream and downstream directions. The asymmetric blade geometry can cause extra tonal noise at the harmonics of the blade shaft frequency. The noise features of dual rotors are also investigated. Usually, the noise is sensitive to the initial phase difference and rotation directions due to the interference effect. However, the noise features are vastly altered if there are slight differences in the rotation speeds. Although the influences of some factors on rotor noise were already known, the present study provides a more comprehensive analysis of the problem. The results also highlight the need to consider these practical factors for accurate noise prediction of multi-rotor flying vehicles.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberA16
JournalJournal of Fluid Mechanics
Publication statusPublished - 10 Feb 2023


  • aeroacoustics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Applied Mathematics


Dive into the research topics of 'An investigation of rotor aeroacoustics with unsteady motions and uncertainty factors'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this