Understanding Propeller Noise


Figure showing the results of the methodology applied to the study of the mechanisms of sound generation from the interaction between propeller tip and hub vortices.

How do vortices generate noise?


Understanding the fundamental underlying mechanisms of propeller wake vortex sound generation and propagation is very challenging, requiring effective methods able to establish a “cause and effect” relationship between the acoustic perturbation in the far-field and the characteristics of the flow in proximity of the emitting body.


To this end, SATURN partners at CNR-INM developed and successfully implemented an experimental methodology, based on simultaneous measurements of the acoustic perturbation in the far-field, by hydrophones, and in proximity of the noise sources, by detailed flow and pressure fluctuation measurements and filtering techniques, combined with cross-correlation/conditional techniques.


This adopted methodology can be found in full detail in the following publications:

  • Felli et al. (2014). A novel approach for the isolation of the sound and pseudo-sound contributions from near-field pressure fluctuation measurements: analysis of the hydroacoustic and hydrodynamic perturbation in a propeller-rudder system. Experiments in Fluids.

  • Felli et al. (2015). Experimental approaches for the diagnostics of hydroacoustic problems in naval propulsion. Ocean Engineering.

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