Active control of sound radiation due to subsonic wave scattering from discontinuities on thin elastic beams

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Virginia Tech

Much progress has been made in recent years in active control of sound radiation from vibrating structures. Reduction of the far-field acoustic radiation can be obtained by directly modifying the response of the structure by applying structural inputs rather than by adding acoustic sources. Discontinuities, which are present in many structures are often important in terms of sound radiation due to wave scattering behavior at their location. In this thesis, an edge or boundary type discontinuity (clamped edge) and a point discontinuity (blocking mass) are analytically studied in terms of sound radiation. When subsonic vibrational waves impinge on these discontinuities, large scattered sound levels are radiated. Active control is then achieved by applying either control forces, which approximate shakers, or pairs of control moments, which approximate piezoelectric actuators, near the discontinuity. Active control of sound radiation from a simply-supported beam is also examined.

For a single frequency, the flexural response of the beam subject to an incident wave or an input force (disturbance) and to control forces or control moments is expressed in terms of waves of both propagating and near-field types. The far-field radiated pressure is then evaluated in terms of the structural response, using Rayleigh's formula or a stationary phase approach, depending upon the application. The control force and control moment magnitudes are determined by optimizing a quadratic cost function, which is directly related to the control performance. On determining the optimal control complex amplitudes, these can be resubstituted in the constitutive equations for the system under study and the minimized radiated fields can be evaluated.

High attenuation in radiated sound power and radiated acoustic pressure is found to be possible when one or two active control actuators are located near the discontinuity, as is shown to be mostly associated with local changes in beam response near the discontinuity.. The effect of the control actuators on the farfield radiated pressure, the wavenumber spectrum, the flexural displacement and the near-field time averaged intensity and pressure distributions are studied in order to further understand the control mechanisms. The influence of the near-field structural waves is investigated as well. Some experimental results are presented for comparison.