Simulation of Underbody Contribution of Wind Noise in a Passenger Automobile
Wind noise is a significant source of interior noise in automobiles at cruising conditions, potentially creating dissatisfaction with vehicle quality. While wind noise contributions at higher frequencies usually originate with transmission through greenhouse panels and sealing, the contribution coming from the underbody area often dominates the interior noise spectrum at lower frequencies. Continued pressure to reduce fuel consumption in new designs is causing more emphasis on aerodynamic performance, to reduce drag by careful management of underbody airflow at cruise. Simulation of this airflow by Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) tools allows early optimization of underbody shapes before expensive hardware prototypes are feasible. By combining unsteady CFD-predicted loads on the underbody panels with a structural acoustic model of the vehicle, underbody wind noise transmission could be considered in the early design phases.