FOI undertakes studies and develops computational methods for sound generation and propagation. Even though noise differs from other environmental factors, since it does not directly threaten human survival or that of other organisms, it is the form of environmental disturbance that affects the Swedish population most. Compared with traffic noise, for example, aircraft noise affects a significantly smaller proportion of the population. However, aircraft noise is often perceived as a greater nuisance, despite comparable sound levels.
Both civil and military aircraft are subject to regulation, enforced through monitoring of compliance to fixed noise level guidelines and requirements. Even though technological improvement continuously reduces the noise levels produced by new generations of aircraft, the problem has not diminished in significance. This trend may be explained by the increasing density of built areas surrounding airports and the steadily growing volume of air traffic.
FOI has experience in performing studies of sound generation, for example the sound generated by airflow around a wing or undercarriage, and its associated mechanisms, and in developing the relevant computational tools. Our computational tools are often general, for they are also applicable to other noise than that generated by aircraft.