The National Science Foundation (NSF) awarded Aerospace Engineering Assistant Professor Stuart Laurence a 2018 Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award for his project, “Effects of thermal nonequilibrium on the acoustic noise radiated by a compressible turbulent boundary layer.”
According to Laurence, in gaseous flows over solid surfaces, the thin near-wall region can become chaotic and turbulent; these turbulent motions can then cause the generation of intense, outward-propagating sound waves, especially when the flow is supersonic. This project seeks to understand such noise generation when the gas in question (e.g., carbon dioxide, or high-temperature air) absorbs sound waves at certain frequencies.
In particular, it is thought that by introducing such a gas into a near-surface flow of air, the noise generation can be reduced in configurations such as high-speed wind tunnels, where this noise can severely contaminate measurements. In conjunction, a variety of educational activities will be undertaken to introduce students at all levels to high-speed flows, including the creation of a YouTube channel where students can suggest objects to be flown in a Mach-8 wind tunnel.
August 3, 2018