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Published December 1, 1956 | public
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On the Contribution of Turbulent Boundary Layers to the Noise inside a Fuselage


The following report deals i preliminary fashion with the transmission through a fuselage of random noise generated on the fuselage skin by a turbulent boundary layer. The concept of attenuation is abandoned and instead the problem is formulated as a sequence of two linear couplings: the turbulent boundary layer fluctuations excite the fuselage skin in lateral vibrations and the skin vibrations induce sound inside the fuselage. The techniques used are those required to determine the response of linear systems to random forcing functions of several variables. A certain degree of idealization has been resorted to. Thus the boundary layer is assumed locally homogeneous, the fuselage skin is assumed flat, unlined and free from axial loads and the "cabin" air is bounded only by the vibrating plate so that only outgoing waves are considered. Some of the details of the statistical description have been simplified in order to reveal the basic features of the problem. The results, strictly applicable only to the limiting case of thin boundary layers, show that the sound pressure intensity is proportional to the square of the free stream density, the square of cabin air density and inversely proportional to the first power of the damping constant and to the second power of the plate density. The dependence on free stream velocity and boundary layer thickness cannot be given in general without a detailed knowledge of the characteristics of the pressure fluctuations in the boundary layer (in particular the frequency spectrum). For a flat spectrum the noise intensity depends on the fifth power of the velocity and the first power of the boundary layer thickness. This suggests that boundary layer removal is probably not an economical means of decreasing cabin noise. In general, the analysis presented here only reduces the determination of cabin noise intensity to the measurement of the effect of any one of four variables (free stream velocity, boundary layer thiclkness, plate thickness or the characteristic velocity of propagation in the plate). The plate generates noise by vibrating in resonance over a wide range of frequencies and increasing the damping constant is consequently an effective method of decreasing noise generation. One of the main features of the results is that the relevent quantities upon which noise intensity depends are non-dimensional numbers in which boundary layer and plate properties enter as ratios. This is taken as an indication that in testing models of structures for boundary layer noise it is not sufficient to duplicate in the model the structural characteristics of the fuselage. One must match properly the characteristics of the exciting pressure fluctuations to that of the structure.


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