Cranfield University has been at the forefront of rotorcraft research for the last 12 years, having an established track record on rotorcraft modelling, aero-acoustics, and performance. This PhD studentship is within the Propulsion Engineering Centre at Cranfield University, in the field of aero-acoustic modelling for emerging rotorcraft concepts. The work will aim to develop and apply novel methods for rotorcraft aero-acoustic analysis and reduced-order modelling. The research will be sponsored by the UK Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) and will be carried out in collaboration with the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) in the UK.
Current approaches for the aero-acoustic characterisation of rotorcraft are based on the generation of acoustic hemi-spheres using either experimental means, or high-fidelity numerical methods. This approach is expensive and precludes the aero-acoustic evaluation of conceptual architectures during preliminary design.
This work will produce and deliver reduced-order models for the rapid prediction of aero-acoustics and performance for emerging rotorcraft concepts. This will be carried out using state-of-the art numerical methods for rotorcraft aero-dynamics, aero-acoustics, design space exploration, reduced-order modelling, and optimisation. State-of-the-art numerical methods for rotor aerodynamic and aero-acoustic analysis will be employed to generate generalised databases of noise hemi-spheres for conceptual rotorcraft architectures such as tilt-rotor, tilt-wing, and compound configurations. Reduced-order modelling formulations such as Proper Orthogonal Decomposition (POD) and Artificial Neural Networks (ANN) will be employed to extract key aero-acoustic features and derive interpretable and generalizable models with rapid prediction capability and reduced turnaround time.
This PhD work will be sponsored by the UK Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) and will be carried out in collaboration with the UK Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL), part of the UK MOD.
It is expected that the derived models will enhance DSTL’s predictive capability in terms of conceptual rotorcraft aerodynamic and aero-acoustic analysis during the stages of preliminary design.
This PhD opportunity includes funding for the successful applicant to present their work in national and international conferences.
The successful applicant will gain an in-depth understanding of rotorcraft aerodynamics, aero-acoustics, as well as contemporary methods for numerical analysis and reduced-order modelling. Furthermore, the applicants will gain a unique and in-depth understanding of the field as well as a transferable skill set, which will prepare them for a successful career in industry or academia.