Experimental Characterization and Analysis of Simple Residential Structures Subjected to Simulated Sonic Booms

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Virginia Tech


Commercial aircraft are subject to noise regulations imposed by the Federal Aviation Administration. Currently, the FAA limits overland flight of supersonic airplanes due to the negative effect of the sonic boom on communities. The annoyance produced by the impulsive signature of sonic booms, particularly indoors, cannot exceed that of the broadband, low-overpressure noise produced by subsonic airplanes for the restriction to be lifted. Therefore, the ability to understand and accurately reproduce the acoustic response of a sonic boom is important for psychoacoustic classification of their tolerability within residences. This thesis presents and interprets results of the propagation and transmission of simulated sonic booms incident on wood-framed structures. The testing environment, sonic boom simulation method, and associated instrumentation are described. The effects of the traveling blast on the structure are investigated through pressure loading and structural response measurements. The ensuing interior acoustic responses for several different configurations are presented, including the effects of room cavity interaction and exposure of the room cavities to the traveling wave through an open door. Calculated transfer functions between the interior acoustic response and the free-field incident wave are computed to assess the extent to which wood-framed buildings transmit energy to their cavities. In all cases tested, significant transmission of the sonic boom's low frequency content into the structures was apparent through direct apertures and the excitation of structural components. The data show that sonic booms provide significant excitation of structural and acoustic modes that drives the interior acoustic response in residential structures.



interior acoustic response., pressure loading, structural forcing, sonic boom simulation, Sonic boom