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Can Noise Cancelling Technology Work For Airliners  
User currently offlineUAL747 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (6 years 7 months 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 5464 times:

The technology has been developed and tested in small GA aircraft, however, I was wondering if you think there might ever be a technology that would work with modern day airliners? As I understand it, the equipment picks up the wavelength and amplitude of the sound and bombards the unwanted sound with opposite flowing waves against the original sound wave.

In my mind the equipment would work by monitoring throttle imputs on the engines and the wind noise in the aircraft. But how would this equipment be dispersed in the aircraft? Do you think it is a good idea?

Personally, I always love a little white noise, but I know that there are tons of people who wish planes would be dead silent, so for the flying public, it might be worth looking into, but possibly cost prohibitive.

UAL

26 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineYflyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 1101 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (6 years 7 months 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 5444 times:

I believe the Bombardier Q400 already uses some sort of noise canceling technology.

User currently offlineInbound From Trinidad and Tobago, joined Sep 2001, 851 posts, RR: 2
Reply 2, posted (6 years 7 months 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 5440 times:

You beat me to it....

yes, the Dash8 Q300 and Q400 (Q being for Quiet) use an Anti Noise and Vibration System involving noise cancelling technology.



Maintain own separation with terrain!
User currently offlineMestrugo From Chile, joined Apr 2007, 237 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (6 years 7 months 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 5422 times:

I've got one of those headphone sets with noise cancelling technology and the stuff, and now I can't travel without them.

I guess it's just a matter of scales; you could probably also install the same thing with huge baffles, but, if somebody accidentally taps or covers the mcrophone the system uses to cancel the noise, prepare to deafen all your passengers with an annoying screech.


User currently offlineSSTsomeday From Canada, joined Oct 2006, 1276 posts, RR: 1
Reply 4, posted (6 years 7 months 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 5382 times:



Quoting Inbound (Reply 2):
yes, the Dash8 Q300 and Q400 (Q being for Quiet) use an Anti Noise and Vibration System involving noise cancelling technology.

There is also technology on (some) A/C which ensures that the turbines spin at exactly the same rate during cruise, is that not correct? This stops the droning sound created when one turbine slightly overtakes the other by a single rotation every few seconds. Is that what you were referring to?

What about noise cancelling technology for the OUTSIDE of the A/C? I recall some elaborate curly structures (forgive my lack of technological expertise) on the back end of 707 engines, which were for noise reduction.

I also understand that certain propellers are now designed with a pronounced curve, which not only make them more effective in terms of thrust but also reduce noise.

I'm sure there has been many gradational improvements in this area. It seems that with certain airports being hit with restrictions and fines largely to do with noise, that reducing the noise footprint an A/C makes in the vicinity of an airport is a major selling point.



I come in peace
User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 25983 posts, RR: 22
Reply 5, posted (6 years 7 months 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 5130 times:



Quoting Inbound (Reply 2):
yes, the Dash8 Q300 and Q400 (Q being for Quiet) use an Anti Noise and Vibration System involving noise cancelling technology.

The Saab 2000 also has a similar system.


User currently offlinePnwtraveler From Canada, joined Jun 2007, 2296 posts, RR: 12
Reply 6, posted (6 years 7 months 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 5106 times:

I like that throbbing sound when one turbine spins at a slightly different rate than the other. Dead quiet makes the flight to dull. Heck I am hurtling through space at 5x the speed my car will go - I wannahear and feel some of it  tongue . Part of the problem is that air travel has gotten so pedestrian these days some of the romance and excitement is gone.

User currently offlinePGNCS From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 2858 posts, RR: 49
Reply 7, posted (6 years 7 months 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 5093 times:



Quoting Pnwtraveler (Reply 6):
Part of the problem is that air travel has gotten so pedestrian these days some of the romance and excitement is gone.

Only SOME of the romance is gone?  Wink


User currently offlineUAL747 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (6 years 7 months 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 5059 times:



Quoting SSTsomeday (Reply 4):
There is also technology on (some) A/C which ensures that the turbines spin at exactly the same rate during cruise, is that not correct?

I think this is called "Prop Sync."


On my dad's Cessna twin, once you reach your cruising altitude, you flip the switch and you can hear the props start to sync together and the "washing machine, wooosh-wooosh-wooosh" sound goes away.

UAL


User currently offlineSupraZachAir From Northern Mariana Islands, joined Feb 2004, 634 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (6 years 7 months 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 4988 times:



Quoting Inbound (Reply 2):
yes, the Dash8 Q300 and Q400 (Q being for Quiet) use an Anti Noise and Vibration System involving noise cancelling technology.

...and Q200.


User currently offlineTdscanuck From Canada, joined Jan 2006, 12709 posts, RR: 80
Reply 10, posted (6 years 7 months 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 4894 times:



Quoting UAL747 (Thread starter):
The technology has been developed and tested in small GA aircraft, however, I was wondering if you think there might ever be a technology that would work with modern day airliners?

Internally it could work. Externally, you've got a power problem. To cancel the noise, you need to output the inverse waveform at nearly the same power level. The power level in jet noise is huge, which means you'd need whopping giant amplifiers and speakers to counteract it.

Quoting Yflyer (Reply 1):
I believe the Bombardier Q400 already uses some sort of noise canceling technology.

I believe this is just for internal noise, where the sound pressure is a lot lower.

Tom.


User currently offlineTod From Denmark, joined Aug 2004, 1729 posts, RR: 3
Reply 11, posted (6 years 7 months 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 4768 times:

The problem with using opposite waves to cancel cabin noise is keeping the waves exaclty opposite in varying cabin locations.

This is why it works with headphones. This distance the noise source travels within the headphones to your ears and the distance the cancelling noise travels withing the headphones to your ears can be tightly controlled. That makes keeps the waves in sync possible.

That is not the case when you speard sets of ears throughout the cabin.

Tod


User currently offlineJetlagged From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2005, 2577 posts, RR: 25
Reply 12, posted (6 years 7 months 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 4755 times:



Quoting Tod (Reply 11):
The problem with using opposite waves to cancel cabin noise is keeping the waves exaclty opposite in varying cabin locations.

This is why it works with headphones. This distance the noise source travels within the headphones to your ears and the distance the cancelling noise travels withing the headphones to your ears can be tightly controlled. That makes keeps the waves in sync possible.

That is not the case when you speard sets of ears throughout the cabin.

On the Dash 8 Q, it's not just active noise cancelling. They have active vibration damping too.



The glass isn't half empty, or half full, it's twice as big as it needs to be.
User currently offlineTod From Denmark, joined Aug 2004, 1729 posts, RR: 3
Reply 13, posted (6 years 7 months 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 4727 times:



Quoting Jetlagged (Reply 12):
On the Dash 8 Q, it's not just active noise cancelling. They have active vibration damping too.

Nice.

Now if someone would step up and try that with a wide body, that would be cool.

Tod


User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 17172 posts, RR: 66
Reply 14, posted (6 years 7 months 22 hours ago) and read 4662 times:

Lending out headphones seems like a simpler and cheaper solution on jets.  Wink

Active noise canceling like Bose or (IMHO much better) passive noise canceling like Shure or Etymotic.



"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlineJGPH1A From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (6 years 6 months 4 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 4558 times:



Quoting Inbound (Reply 2):
yes, the Dash8 Q300 and Q400 (Q being for Quiet) use an Anti Noise and Vibration System involving noise cancelling technology.

I'm not convinced it works though - those things are still damn loud inside.


User currently offlineThegreatchecko From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 1130 posts, RR: 2
Reply 16, posted (6 years 6 months 4 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 4558 times:



Quoting JGPH1A (Reply 15):

I'm not convinced it works though - those things are still damn loud inside.

It works quite well actually. There is a huge difference that can not only be heard but felt if the system is paused. It's still a prop, so you will have to hear the engines at some level. IMO, its no louder than an ERJ on the inside, especially near the door.

Checko



"A pilot's plane she is. She will love you if you deserve it, and try to kill you if you don't...She is the Mighty Q400"
User currently offlineJGPH1A From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (6 years 6 months 4 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 4556 times:



Quoting Thegreatchecko (Reply 16):
IMO, its no louder than an ERJ on the inside, especially near the door.

Not in my experience, but you're right about sitting near the door on an ERJ, it's LOUD. Why is that ?


User currently offlineVIflyer From US Virgin Islands, joined May 1999, 501 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (6 years 6 months 4 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 4548 times:



Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 5):

The Saab 2000 also has a similar system

And The SF340B+ too. How every I know my company decided a while ago to deactivate the system from what i heard was MX reliability problem with them (one of the first gen systems).

Quoting JGPH1A (Reply 17):
Not in my experience, but you're right about sitting near the door on an ERJ, it's LOUD. Why is that ?

It's mainly due to the local airflow coming off of the nose and transitioning to the fuselage. It's worst at lower alts. (10,000 to mid FL200). And it's cold as the dickens up their too. Remember it's basically a turboprop fuselage going almost twice as fast at lower levels.

Vi



I reject your reality and subsitute my own
User currently offlineCptSpeaking From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 639 posts, RR: 1
Reply 19, posted (6 years 6 months 4 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 4529 times:



Quoting UAL747 (Reply 8):
I think this is called "Prop Sync."

Right you are, for larger piston and turboprop twins anyway...Cessna 400 series, King Airs, etc. Jets are a little different...

Citations have a system that will sync either the fan (N1) or the turbine (N2). This is turned off for takeoff and landing...same concept as the prop sync though with a master and slave engine.

We did a little testing when a I flew a Citation and found that the fan sync is better for the pilots and the turbine sync is better for the passengers in the back. We would set the desired N1 and turn the turbine sync on as part of the climb checklist and off in the before landing, unless it was a dead leg...then we'd use the fan sync as there were no passengers to please.

Are there similar systems in large jets, perhaps integrated with the autothrottles somehow?



...and don't call me Shirley!!
User currently offlineUAL747 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 20, posted (6 years 6 months 3 weeks 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 4456 times:



Quoting CptSpeaking (Reply 19):
Cessna 400 series

Well, his is a 335, but it's as large or ever a bit larger than the 414 I think, but nonetheless, you can tell when the prop sync is turned off or on. Makes a big difference on the ear.

UAL


User currently offlineContnlEliteCMH From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 1465 posts, RR: 44
Reply 21, posted (6 years 6 months 3 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 4379 times:

I think the problem is more difficult than this discussion indicates. Noise cancelling headphones work becaue the microphone is very near the ears for which the cancelling is intended, and the cancelling sound can be applied directly to those ears. This is why those headphones work well for nearly every environment.

In a jetliner, things are a lot different. It will have at least several major regions of sound inside. What cancels noise in one region could make flight nearly intolerable in another section of the airplane. You'd need to target the sound you're trying to quiet for the location in which you're trying to quiet it. In a turboprop, you're trying to cancel out the prop vibrations. These vibrations have high amplitude and a (more or less) a uniform frequency regardless of where they're heard. So the noise reduction system in the Q400 can be relatively simple. I'm not so sure for a large jetliner.

I am no sound expert. But while attaining my degree I recall a poster hanging in one of the labs. It caughy my attention because it had a cutaway of a jetliner -- an MD80 to be exact. (I think it was a SAS aircraft.) The cutaway showed a mapping of how sound flowed through the cabin though I can't recall any more specifics, such as frequency. The vectors varied in direction and size. What I took away from that poster was that it confirmed something my ears told me every time I flew: the sound in the cabin can be varied from one place to another. Cancelling it well seems like a very difficult problem.



Christianity. Islam. Hinduism. Anthropogenic Global Warming. All are matters of faith!
User currently offlineGopal From United States of America, joined Jun 1999, 113 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (6 years 6 months 3 weeks 5 days ago) and read 4312 times:

Instead of cancelling the noise generated by the turbines , why not harness some of it and use it for some of the aircraft systems ? Are there machines that can convert sound energy to electricity efficiently ?

User currently offlineDaBuzzard From Canada, joined Sep 2007, 136 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (6 years 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 4297 times:



Quoting Tdscanuck (Reply 10):
The power level in jet noise is huge, which means you'd need whopping giant amplifiers and speakers to counteract it

Don't tell the kids in my old neighborhood that....I suspect some of them had enough wattage in their cars to do the job....as long as the frequencies are below about 50hz  Wink Ever see a rear window explode...boom boom booom BOOOOM  crazy 
Seriously though, there are other issues which make this impractical. The external noise from an aircraft is generated from various locations on the aircraft, you would need a counter noise generator at each location (engines, flaps, landing gear openings, etc) to keep the cancelling waves 180 degrees out of phase to get effective cancellation for ground based listeners.

Quoting Gopal (Reply 22):
Are there machines that can convert sound energy to electricity efficiently


The real issue is that it takes energy to create the sound in the first place. If you can build it so it operates more quietly without external means of sound control, it will (all other things being equal) be more efficient. Better not to make the noise in the first place if you can.


User currently offlineRoseFlyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 9810 posts, RR: 52
Reply 24, posted (6 years 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 4287 times:

I got to tour Boeing's noise analysis facility to see how hard they are working on getting interior noise down on the 787. They have very sophisticated sound laboratories.

One difficulty with noise cancelling technology on a large jet is that the largest source of noise is wind noise. Wind noise is either external to the airplane or interior from the cabin air system. It is difficult to cancel this noise since it isn't given off of a solid object vibrating. There is no natural frequency of air which can be cancelled out. The noise comes from a broad wavelength. You have to cancel out quite a wide spectrum in order to keep out wind noise. Current systems don't really work for this inside a plane. You would get some noise cancelling, but not enough probably to make it worth the cost and weight.

Noise cancelling for a propeller is much easier since it is vibrating at a very specific frequency.

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 5):
The Saab 2000 also has a similar system.

Same as the new ATRs.



If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
25 DALMD88 : I've heard there are some accidents in GA that have been attributed to the pilot wearing noise cancelling headsets. They did such a good job that the
26 Bio15 : Prop Sync usually refers to the propeller synchronizer system, which fine tunes the propellers' RPMs so they match, reducing the frequency beats. On t
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