Iván Herrero Durá, Bachelor of Environmental Sciences and Master in Acoustic Engineering from Campus Gandia of the Universitat Politècnica de València, defended his doctoral dissertation titled “Acoustic Noise Reduction Methods for the Launch Pad” on May 18th by videoconference, in collaboration with the European Space Agency (ESA), co-funder of the doctoral dissertation. This thesis received a Cum Laude and has been nominated for the Extraordinary Doctorate Award from the Universitat Politècnica de València.
The dissertation, which we previously highlighted here on this website, was supervised by Rubén Picó Vila, Víctor Sánchez Morcillo and Lluís García Raffi, from the Universitat Politècnica de Valènca, and by Vicente Romero García, from the Laboratoire d’Acoustique de l’Université du Maine (in France).
This dissertation focuses on the research into methods that reduce the noise levels that space rockets are subjected to in the initial launch phases (engine ignition and takeoff). According to Iván, “In these events, space vehicles are subjected to extremely high sound pressure levels that can have a significant effect on lightweight transported structures, such as solar panels and antennas, making it necessary to reduce the noise level.”
“The intense sound generated by the primary sources, the motor and the jet, is reinforced by the reflection in the bottom of the launch base channel, which acts as an acoustic mirror, and returns the released energy to the rocket and the structures it transports, with the economic and security consequences that this entails,” Iván indicates.
Despite the relevance of this problem, knowledge about the characteristics of the sources, the behavior of the ground installations in relation to the dispersion, diffusion and absorption of sound, and the possible measures to mitigate the impact is still scarce. This is the context of the general aims of this dissertation, whose objective is to design and optimize a prototype system based on an array of Helmholtz resonators to maximize the absorption and dispersion of sound and, thus, mitigate the sound pressure levels generated in these events in the aerospace context.
Iván carried out part of his research work at the technical center of the European Space Agency (ESA) in the Netherlands, thanks to the agreement signed between UPV and ESA under the Networking/Partnering Initiative (NPI) program, in which universities and research institutes in advanced technologies with potential space applications take part.
While writing his dissertation, Iván carried out two research residencies at ESA’s Space Research and Technology Center (ESTEC) and published a scientific paper in the Applied Sciences international journal, detailing aspects of this research. You can click on this link to read the full paper: https://www.mdpi.com/2076-3417/10/5/1690.