Why Aeroacoustics?

Aeroacoustics is centrally concerned with the generation and propagation of sound through a fluid. The prefix aero implies air, but one can also include sound in other fluids, such as water (also called hydroacoustics). Aeroacoustics is part of the broader topic of acoustics, the latter of which can include sound propagation through other types of media, including solids, plasmas, etc. Our research is primarily concerned with the generation, propagation, and minimization of sound produced by engineering and biological systems.  Through a combination of theory and computation we analyze complex systems from a physics-based perspective, usually solving the two- or three-dimensional compressible Navier-Stokes equations directly.

Aeroacoustics is a critical component in aerospace vehicle design, certification, and operation.  In commercial aircraft, sound from the engines affects how the airplane is used in and around the airport and whether the airplane is quiet enough to satisfy certification requirements.  In military aircraft, especially carrier-borne aircraft, the close proximity of the aircraft to personnel creates communication challenges and poses a severe hearing-loss health hazard.

What is going on in aeroacoustics research at Illinois?

Our faculty focus on computational aeroacoustics, using theory to guide and interpret the simulations.  We have long-standing studies to predict and control the noise radiated by turbulent jets for NASA, AFOSR, and ONR using optimal control and advanced, data-driven model-based controllers.  Large-scale simulations are currently being used to predict the noise from the propulsive fan in modern high-bypass ratio engines and were used to study how sound is absorbed in acoustic liners.  Our faculty are also interested in biological aeroacoustics and currently study the sound generation of a small Panamanian bird, the mechanics of human speech, and the use of sound to break up kidney stones (lithotripsy). Additionally experimental investigations of jet noise and nozzle exit geometries have been conducted in the anechoic chamber located in the Gas Dynamics Laboratory at the Aerodynamics Research Laboratory funded by ONR, Rolls Royce and Gulfstream.

Who are the faculty members in the area?

Willett Professor, Department Head

What are the classes in this area?

  • AE 410: Introduction to Computational Aerodynamics
  • AE 412/ME 411: Viscous Flow and Heat Transfer
  • AE 416: Applied Aerodynamics
  • AE 433: Aerospace Propulsion
  • AE 434: Rocket Propulsion
  • AE 435: Electric Propulsion
  • AE 451: Aeroelasticity
  • AE 510/ME 510: Advanced Gas Dynamics
  • AE 511: Transonic Aerodynamics
  • AE 514: Boundary Layer Theory
  • AE 515: Wing Theory
  • AE 538: Combustion Fundamentals
  • AE 564 Advanced Aero Propulsion Lab
  • AE 598 CAA: Aeroacoustics
  • AE 598 MCF: Multiphase CFD
  • AE 598 UA: Unsteady Aerodynamics
  • TAM 531: Inviscid Flow
  • TAM 532: Viscous Flow
  • TAM 536: Instability and Transition
  • TAM 538: Turbulence

Get an advanced degree in aerospace engineering

The Department of Aerospace Engineering offers numerous options for advanced degrees,  including: 5-year Bachelor/Master of Science; Master of Science; Online Master of Science - Non-thesis; Master of Engineering in Aerospace Systems; Online MEng in Aerospace Systems; and Doctorate.

The deadline to apply for spring enrollment is December 1.

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